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Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program trains students to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages who have medical problems, or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

Program Mission

The PTA Program is committed to:

  • Provide an accredited program of instruction in Northwest Louisiana and the surrounding area for students who desire to pursue education in physical therapy at the associate degree level.
  • Serve the needs of the regional physical therapy community through graduating well-qualified physical therapist assistants to work under the direction of physical therapists in a variety of clinical environments.

The Bossier Parish Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).Will open new browser window or tab

Learning Outcomes:

Recipients of the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant will be able to demonstrate:

  1. adherence to the APTA core values and regulatory agency guidelines defining the PTA’s role as it relates to social, professional, ethical, legal and administrative responsibilities and conduct;
  2. verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that are sensitive to diversity during interactions with patients, caregivers, coworkers and other medical professionals, including the ability to develop rapport, collaborate, inform, inquire, redirect and teach;
  3. use of current and emerging technologies and equipment required in the assessment and intervention of patients;
  4. ability to gather data through research of medical publications and patient records, observation, and performance physical therapy interim assessments;
  5. timely reporting of relevant changes in patients’ status including preparation of accurate, logically sequenced documentation;
  6. implementation and safe progression of physical therapy interventions guided by patients’ status and consistent with the goals and plan of care developed by the physical therapist;
  7. use of critical thinking based on foundational physical therapy knowledge to solve problems and develop appropriate clinical judgments; and
  8. lifelong learning through continuing education, service as a clinical educator of PTA students, and analysis of health care literature to achieve and maintain licensure and expand knowledge and skills in physical therapy practice.

Specific Requirements:

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) curriculum is sequenced in two phases. The first phase consists of a minimum of 31 credit hours of general education curriculum (Qualification Courses) that must be successfully completed before a student is eligible to apply for the PTA Program courses. Admission to the PTA Program is selective and competitive. Completion of the qualification courses does not guarantee admission to the PTA Program. The second phase consists of 27 credit hours of classroom and laboratory activities related to physical therapy and 14 credit hours of clinical practice experiences under the direct supervision of a physical therapist participating in patient care. In order to complete the Associate of Applied Science in PTA, clinical PTA students must pass all program classes with a “C” or better while also maintaining a 2.500 per semester GPA.

Once selected for the PTA program, students will be required to provide health information and meet all requirements for a program with a clinical component (described earlier in this section).

After completion of the program, PTA Program graduates will need to take and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination to be eligible to apply for a license to practice as a PTA in the state of Louisiana.

Application Process/Policy for Admission into the PTA Program:

The selection process for the PTA program begins each spring. The application packet forms and instructions are available on the program webpage. Students are selected in June and should be available to begin the program on the first day of the "C Session" of the summer semester. Students must meet program specific criteria in the areas outlined below to be eligible for an interview.

  • Prerequisite GPA must be 2.500 or higher and students must earn a “C” or better in all qualification courses.
  • It is strongly advised that all qualification courses be completed by the end of the spring semester in the application year. In some situations, up to 3 credit hours may be completed in the first summer "B Session," when available and with prior approval of the academic advisor.
  • Program application packet must be received by April 15. Partial/incomplete packets will not be considered.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 40 observation hours in two different settings with two different licensed physical therapy providers documented using official forms and instructions obtained from the program webpage.

Interview Process/Policy:

Interviews are conducted after the conclusion of the spring semester of each year. A maximum of 50 of the highest scoring PTA applicants will be invited by mail for an interview with the Program Admissions Committee. All applicants will be notified by mail of their status.

Special Requirements and Considerations:

Students who are selected for the PTA Program must be available for daytime, evening, and occasional weekend classes. In addition, based upon clinical site availability, PTA students will be required to complete one or more clinical rotations (4-5 weeks in duration) at an out-of-town facility.

Students selected for the PTA program must submit all required information for programs with a clinical component (described earlier) and pay a clinical fee, in addition to regular tuition each clinical semester.

Required courses for the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant:

Qualification Courses
(must be completed prior to beginning program classes)
    Hours
ENGL 101: Composition & Rhetoric I 3
ENGL 102: Composition & Rhetoric II 3
  Humanities Elective 3
MATH 101: Algebra for College Students 3
or MATH 102:     College Algebra
PHSC 105: Elemental Physics 3
  Psychology Elective* 3
BLGY 230: Human Anatomy and Physiology I 3
BLGY 230L: Human Anatomy and Physiology I Lab 1
BLGY 231: Human Anatomy and Physiology II 3
BLGY 231L: Human Anatomy and Physiology II Lab 1
ALHT 109: Health Care Systems/Safety 2
BLGY 110: Medical Terminology 3
Total pre-PTA hours: 31
     
*Psychology Elective: Any course with a PSYC prefix may satisfy this requirement, however it is recommended that students select from the following courses: PSYC 201, PSYC 202, PSYC 220, or PSYC 225.
 
PTA Program Courses
(Students are selected by committee to enter the program.)
First Summer Semester Hours
PTAP 200: Functional Anatomy 2
PTAP 201: Introduction to Physical Therapy 1
    3
     
Fall Semester Hours
PTAP 202: Clinical Kinesiology 4
PTAP 203: Orthopedic Conditions 3
PTAP 204: Physical Therapy Procedures 3
PTAP 205: Therapeutic Modalities 3
PTAP 206: Clinical Practice I 3
    16
     
Spring Semester Hours
PTAP 212: Clinical Neuroanatomy 2
PTAP 213: Neurological Conditions 3
PTAP 214: Therapeutic Exercise 3
PTAP 215: Special Areas of Practice 2
PTAP 216: Clinical Practice II 4
PTAP 217: Comprehensive Interventions for the PTA 1
    15
     
Second Summer Semester Hours
PTAP 226: Clinical Practice III 7
Total program hours: 41
   
Total credit hours to earn the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant 72

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