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Students in the PTA Lab

Overview 

The physical therapist assistant (PTA) assists in the delivery of physical therapy services under the supervision of a physical therapist (PT).  While the physical therapist evaluates the patient, sets goals, and develops the appropriate treatment plan, the physical therapist assistant:

  • implements treatment plans designed by the physical therapist
  • understands the rationale and effectiveness of treatment procedures
  • communicates regularly with the supervising physical therapist
  • performs measurement and assessment techniques for assisting the PT in monitoring and  modifying the plan of care
  • documents relevant aspects of patient treatment

The 2 PTA program is a five semester, two-year, academically based program to prepare the graduate to take the PTA licensure examination in preparation for employment.  Upon satisfactory completion of the program the student is awarded an Associate in Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant.  Students enrolled in the Penn State DuBois 2 PTA program will be required to:

  • Become certified in CPR
  • Annually purchase liability insurance
  • Assume all responsibilities for transportation to and from clinical facilities to which they are  assigned for clinical education; student may be required to make special housing or  transportation arrangements during clinical education.
  • Sign a form to indicate if they have or have not had the Hepatitis B vaccination series. Many  clinics require this vaccination. A waiver form will be provided.
  • Perform volunteer or observation hours (10-20 hours) in a health care facility during the first  semester of classes. It is preferred that students begin this requirement during the  summer prior to the start of classes at Penn State DuBois.
  • Complete drug testing and/ or FBI fingerprinting as required by assigned clinical sites.
  • Obtain criminal background checks, child abuse clearances, medical testing, and immunizations  as required by university policy.
  • Attend a PTA program orientation session during the first Fall semester of the program.

 

 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program at Penn State DuBois is to graduate well-educated, competent, caring, quality oriented physical therapist assistants who will provide physical therapy services to patients/clients across the life span who are experiencing pain or have a disability, under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist.  This program mission is consistent with the university-wide, the University College and the campus mission.  In order to meet this mission, the PTA program faculty will:

  1. Provide a high-quality physical therapist assistant education program that produces a culturally  sensitive, competent and safe clinician.
  2. Engage in scholarly activity and service that will advance the knowledge related to physical therapy  and rehabilitation.
  3. Provide a positive example to their students by service and leadership to the   physical therapy  profession and community.

 

Philosophy Statement

The PTA curriculum is designed to train individuals to become Physical Therapist Assistants while providing them with a broad based general education.  This dual approach prepares skilled technical health care workers that provide a vital function in today's society and prepares the PTA graduate for the life-long learning experiences necessary to keep them abreast of the changing field of physical therapy.


The PTA curriculum demands both the manual skills necessary to perform the duties of the PTA as well as the intellectual and thinking skills necessary for many of life's decisions.  Training in clinically relevant knowledge, communication skills, cultural diversity, and the ability to function as a team member to complete a project are general goals of this program.


 

 

Program Goals

  1. To provide a program which develops clinicians who possess and can apply their knowledge of basic sciences, PT theory and procedures to practice as a physical therapist assistant in a variety of  practice settings to enhance patient care.
    Students will be able to:
    1. Competently interpret the plan of care established by the PT.
    2. Collect relevant data in order to determine if modification of treatment plan is needed.
    3. Effectively perform quality patient-centered treatment interventions while minimizing risk to  patient, self and others.
  2. To develop clinicians who possess the necessary professional behaviors to practice as a physical  therapist assistant. 
    Students will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication including documentation
    2. Demonstrate problem-solving and critical thinking skills
    3. Apply effective interpersonal skills with a wide variety of persons in the classroom and professional settings
  3. To develop clinicians who are culturally sensitive and have a sense of commitment to the physical  therapy profession’s core values and ethics as outlined in APTA’s “Standards of Ethical Conduct  for the PTA”.
    Students will be able to:
    1. Respect the rights and dignity of all individuals by responding to the individual cultural needs of each patient.
    2. Comply with the laws and regulations governing physical therapy.
    3. Protect the public and the profession from unethical, incompetent, and illegal acts.
  4. To develop clinicians who are prepared to be lifelong learners and keep current with best practices.
    Students will be able to:
    1. Identify own learning needs
    2. Adopt and value professional development practices demonstrated by faculty
  5. To provide a program that is kept up to date and accredited and which exposes students to quality  resources that support their educational experiences.
  6. Faculty and students will participate in faculty, clinical and program evaluation
    1. Students will demonstrate knowledge and importance of the accreditation process
    2. Faculty will participate in curricular review
    3. Core faculty will ensure that there are adequate and effective general academic support resources
    4. Students will have access to a variety of clinical education experiences.