Physical Therapist Assistant

Angela Heaton, MSEd, Assistant Dean Health Sciences/Allied Health - Program Director
Phone: (419) 995-8813
Email: heaton.a@RhodesState.edu
Office: 102B Tech Edu Lab

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA) are skilled technical health personnel who provide physical therapy services under the supervision and direction of a physical therapist. Physical therapist assistants enhance the delivery of physical therapy services by providing delegated interventions such as therapeutic exercise, training in assistive devices, developmental activities, balance and gait training, application of thermal agents, postural training and instruction in body mechanics. Physical therapist assistants help with data collection and must demonstrate the ability to modify intervention techniques as indicated in the plan of care designated by the physical therapist. Excellent communication skills are also necessary for the physical therapist assistant. The PTA must be able to interact with patients and families in a manner that provides the desired psychosocial support and effectively teach them to perform selected intervention procedures. PTAs also participate in discharge planning, document relevant aspects of the patient treatment, and promote effective interpersonal relationships.

The Associate Degree program at Rhodes State College provides the student with an excellent physical therapist assistant education encouraging personal and professional growth. The curriculum is a combination of general education, applied physical therapy sciences, technical skills and clinical education courses. The clinical rotations provide students with supervised clinical learning experiences in a variety of settings and with different patient populations.

After successful completion of both the didactic and clinical components of the PTA curriculum, and attainment of the Associate in Applied Science degree from Rhodes State College, students seeking licensure as a PTA must make an application to register for the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Additionally, the student must make a separate application to the licensing authority with jurisdiction (state) in which the applicant is seeking licensure. In the state of Ohio, the Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board is the licensing authority with jurisdiction. The state of Ohio requires licensure to practice physical therapy. Licensure enables the PTA to seek employment as a part of a dynamic health care team in a variety of health care settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, sports medicine clinics and outpatient treatment centers.

Program Mission Statement

The Rhodes State College Physical Therapist Assistant Program prepares students to be competent, professional physical therapist assistants.

Notice to Prospective or Current Physical Therapist Assistant Students

You are at risk if you have been convicted of a prior felony and/or some misdemeanors. You may not be able to participate in clinical education experiences at some hospitals or other clinical sites; therefore preventing you from completing the program. A criminal record may also prevent you from obtaining a license or certificate in your chosen healthcare profession.

Technical Standards

See here for details.

"C" Grade Policy

Physical Therapist Assistant
Associate of Applied Science Degree

Structured Course Sequence (6 Semester Plan)

First Year
SummerHours
SDE 1010 First Year Experience 1
BIO 1110Anatomy and Physiology I 4
COM 1110 English Composition 3
BHS 1390Medical Terminology 2
PTA 1100 Introduction to Physical Therapy 3
 Term Hours13
Fall
BIO 1120Anatomy and Physiology II 4
MTH 1260Statistics 3
PTA 1120Functional Anatomy 4
PTA 1140Therapeutic Procedures 4
 Term Hours15
Spring
PTA 1200Therapeutic Exercise 4
COM 2213Verbal Judo 3
PSY 1010 General Psychology 3
PTA 1220Kinesiology 4
 Term Hours14
Second Year
Summer
PTA 1300PTA Seminar 1
PTA 1320Clinical Application I 2
 Term Hours3
Fall
PSY 2150Lifespan Psychology 3
PTA 2100 Rehabilitation for Specific Patient Populations 4
PTA 2120Functional Neurorehabilitation 4
 Term Hours11
Spring
PTA 2200Clinical Application II 3
PTA 2220Clinical Application III 3
PTA 2230   Capstone Course 1
PTA 2240Seminar II 1
 Term Hours8
 Total Hours 64

The “C” grade policy applies to all PTA courses, BIO 1110 Anatomy and Physiology I and BIO 1120 Anatomy and Physiology II. Courses are sequential and must be completed with a “C” or better to continue in the program.

Portfolio Course

Capstone Course

Prerequisites:
Students should check course prerequisites before registering. Prerequisites are listed in the Course Tab.

PTA 1100 — Introduction to Physical Therapy
3 Credit hours  

Builds the foundation for the development of the PTA. The course will examine the utilization of appropriate medical terminology and documentation in the clinical setting. Laboratory sessions will focus on patient positioning, bed mobility, transfers, selection and fitting mobility aids, infection control procedures, and monitoring vital signs. The acquisition of communicating in an effective and culturally sensitive manner in the clinical setting is also reinforced during laboratory sessions. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: Admission to PTA Program
Corequisites: PTA-1100L.

PTA 1120 — Functional Anatomy
4 Credit hours  

Involves the study of basic functional anatomy as it relates to the field of physical therapy. Students will study descriptive terminology, osteology, arthrology, neurology and muscle physiology. Emphasis is placed on origin, insertion, action, and innervation of major muscles along with the ligamentous integrity of peripheral joints of the human body. Common diseases of the musculoskeletal system are introduced to provide clinical relevance. Group laboratory activities will focus on visualization of bony landmarks, muscles and nerves on anatomical models and the cadaver. Palpation of bones, muscles and joints will also be emphasized during laboratory sessions. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: PTA 1100
Corequisites: PTA-1120L, PTA 1140.

PTA 1140 — Therapeutic Procedures
4 Credit hours  

Educates the physical therapist assistant student in the theory and application of different types of therapeutic modalities. The course will analyze the use and application of therapeutic modalities according to current best evidence in order to support patient/client treatment and management decisions for rehabilitation, health promotion, and performance across the lifespan. Topics include: thermal modalities, cryotherapy, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, iontophoresis, phonophoresis, ultrasound, mechanical traction, biofeedback, diathermy, massage and pneumatic compression modalities. The principles of physics employed as well as the indications, contraindications, and precautions of each modality are discussed. Laboratory activities seek to promote clinical decision making and competency in the application of the above treatment interventions by the student. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: PTA 1100
Corequisites: PTA 1120, PTA-1120L, PTA-1140L.

PTA 1200 — Therapeutic Exercise
4 Credit hours  

Covers the basic concepts and principles of therapeutic exercise and foundational techniques. The course includes instruction in the areas of progressive resistive exercise, range of motion, stretching, coordination, balance, relaxation, aquatic therapy, general fitness, posture and core stabilization. A multitude of orthopedic pathologies and appropriate therapeutic exercise programs are covered and adapted for various aged patients. Case studies will be utilized to facilitate implementation of therapeutic exercise progression and to underscore the importance of evidence based practice in the clinical setting. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: BIO 1120, PTA 1100, PTA 1120, PTA 1140
Corequisites: PTA-1200L, PTA 1220.

PTA 1220 — Kinesiology
4 Credit hours  

Involves the application of basic functional anatomy to an in-depth analysis of human motion. The biomechanics of each joint will be discussed along with common orthopedic joint dysfunctions, compensatory strategies, special tests, and surgical procedures. Students will also examine the gait cycle and identify possible causes for abnormal gait. Detailed goniometry and manual muscle testing will be the focus of lab content. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: BIO 1120, PTA 1100, PTA 1120, PTA 1140
Corequisites: PTA-1220L, PTA 1200.

PTA 1300 — PTA Seminar
1 Credit hour  

Prepares students for the requirements and expectations of the first clinical experience, including an orientation to the Clinical Performance Instrument utilized to assess student performance in the clinic. Students will complete a "Clinical Education Passport" to validate exposure to a variety of patients and interventions and to document completion of supplemental learning activities. A cumulative written examination is given to assess mastery of first year content. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: PTA 1200, PTA 1220
Corequisites: PTA 1320.

PTA 1320 — Clinical Application I
2 Credit hours  

Provides a supervised learning experience in an outpatient or inpatient setting. The student will complete a minimum of 175 hours of clinical experience with emphasis placed on treatment interventions and data collection skills learned in the first year of the didactic program. Students are expected to maintain 50% of a full time physical therapist assistant's patient care workload and to adjust interventions within the plan of care established by the physical therapist. Modifications of the treatment plan shall be communicated to the Clinical Instructor. This course is graded S/U.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110, BIO 1120, PTA 1100, PTA 1120, PTA 1140, PTA 1200, PTA 1220
Corequisites: PTA 1300.

PTA 2100 — Rehabilitation for Specific Patient Populations
4 Credit hours  

Introduces students to a variety of topics and areas of treatment including but not limited to cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, women's health, diabetes, geriatrics, amputations, prosthetics, orthotics, and burn/wound care management. Laboratory activities seek to promote clinical decision making and student competency in the application of postural drainage techniques, residual limb wrapping, and sterile wound care management as related to infection control procedures. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: PTA 1300, PTA 1320
Corequisites: PTA-2100L, PTA 2120.

PTA 2120 — Functional Neurorehabilitation
4 Credit hours  

Links the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems to the functional aspects of human movement. Lecture content will focus on the anatomy of the brain, spinal cord, its arterial supply, and the influences of neurological pathways on muscle tone, sensation, reflexes, coordination, and balance. Continued course content involves the application of the above knowledge to the treatment of patients with selected neurological deficits resultant from CVA, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and birth. Laboratory activities will focus on instruction and competency of commonly utilized techniques by the PTA such PNF and NDT, facilitation/inhibition, and developmental sequence and pediatric intervention. Clinical case studies will also be utilized throughout the semester to facilitate critical thinking in the selection and implementation of appropriate therapeutic interventions learned throughout the course. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: PTA 1300, PTA 1320
Corequisites: PTA-2120L, PTA 2100.

PTA 2200 — Clinical Application II
3 Credit hours  

Provides a supervised learning experience in an outpatient or inpatient setting. The student will complete a minimum of 210 hours of clinical experience with emphasis placed on refinement of skills taught in the PTA curriculum. Students are expected to maintain 75% of a full time physical therapist assistant's patient care workload and to adjust interventions within the plan of care established by the physical therapist. Modifications of the treatment plan shall be communicated to the Clinical Instructor. This course is graded S/U.
Prerequisites: PTA 2100, PTA 2120
Corequisites: PTA 2220, PTA 2230, PTA 2240.

PTA 2220 — Clinical Application III
5 Credit hours  

Provides a terminal fulltime learning experience in an outpatient or inpatient setting. The student will complete a minimum of 245 hours of clinical experience with emphasis placed on demonstrating PTA skills at entry level competency. Students are expected to handle a full patient case load and to adjust interventions within the plan of care established by the physical therapist and to communicate these changes to the CI for the purpose of modifying the treatment plan. This course is graded S/U.
Prerequisites: PTA 2100, PTA 2120
Corequisites: PTA 2200, PTA 2230, PTA 2240.

PTA 2230 — Capstone Course
1 Credit hour  

Prepares the student clinician to transition into the healthcare workforce as a licensed physical therapist assistant. The capstone experience in PTA allows students to demonstrate their proficiency in technical knowledge with integration of core skills and abilities. This is accomplished through student participation in the Allied Health Division's Cultural Competency Retreat. Students will work as interdisciplinary teams to address a complex patient diagnosis. Students will also actively prepare for the national Physical Therapy Assistant Licensure Examination through biweekly review modules to identify personal strengths and weaknesses. Other elements of the course include an e-portfolio writing assignment and the completion of selected Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency tests. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: PTA 2100, PTA 2120
Corequisites: PTA 2200, PTA 2220, PTA 2240.

PTA 2240 — Seminar II
1 Credit hour  

Accompanies the terminal clinical rotations of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Students will complete a "Clinical Education Passport" to validate exposure to a variety of patients and interventions and to document completion of supplemental learning activities. A highlight of the seminar is a collaborative interaction with PT students from the University of Findlay to work and learn together about their education, roles, and responsibilities as team members to ultimately model an effective PT/PTA relationship in clinical practice. The seminar also prepares the student for transition to entry level practice with an in depth focus on the laws and rules governing physical therapy practice in the state of Ohio, resume development, participation in mock interviews, and application for the physical therapist assistant licensure examination. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: PTA 2100, PTA 2120
Corequisites: PTA 2200, PTA 2220, PTA 2230.

All students who apply for acceptance into the Physical Therapist Assistant program have their name placed on a qualified list after they meet the program qualifications listed below. 

Please contact the Office of Advising and Counseling for the application packet. Students seeking admission are encouraged to review the qualification requirements early due to the amount of time required to complete the process. The application deadline is is the second Friday of February for the application year. 

In addition to the general admission requirements for all students, the following specific requirements must be completed before being added to qualified list:

  1. Attend a mandatory program specific orientation. 
  2. Complete and score a minimum of 60 on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) assessment exam.
  3. Have a minimum 2.75 grade point average (GPA) for any previous college level course work at the time of selection and matriculation. For high school senior applicants without college level course work, high school grades through the first nine weeks of the senior year will be used to calculate the GPA.
  4. Complete 40 hours of observation in a clinical setting with a licensed Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant using the Observation Form in the application packet.
  5. Complete all required college level or developmental level math, writing and reading courses and/or prerequisites with a grade or D or higher, and all college level or development level science requirements and/or prerequisites with a grade of C or higher; or equivalent placement.​

If more than 30 applicants are qualified, students will be offered a seat based on the qualifying criteria (aggregate of calculated GPA, ATI TEAS score, the number of program specific courses completed with a C or better, and the two observation rubrics). If the qualifying criteria aggregate score of two applicants is equal then the college application date will be used to rank order those applicants.

Qualified students not in the top 30 will be admitted in a following cohort year. This acceptance is contingent upon re-application prior to the deadline of the offered cohort year to verify continued interest in pursuing the degree. These students will be encouraged to attend an informational meeting with programmatic faculty to discuss strategies for persistence within the program or opportunities for other health care majors with seats available for immediate entry and/or other career directions offered at College.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program accepts students once a year in Summer Semester.

Cynthia Brandehoff, BS, AAS, PTA
Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education and Instructor
Phone: 419-995-8440
Office: TL 102F
Email: brandehoff.c@rhodesstate.edu

Andrea Liles, MS, BS, AAS, PT
Instructor
Phone: 419-993-7420
Office: TL 145C
Email: liles.a@rhodesstate.edu

Diana Rammel, AAS, PTA
Coordinator and Instructor
Phone: 419-995-8240
Office: TL 145C
Email: rammel.d@rhodesstate.edu

This PTA Program at Rhodes State College is accredited by the:

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(703) 706-3245
email: accreditation@apta.org
website: www.capteonline.org

The program has been accredited since its inception in May 1993.