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Physical Therapist Assistant FAQ

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Question 1:  What are the duties of a Physical Therapist Assistant?

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work as part of a team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. PTAs implement selected components of patient/client interventions (treatment), obtain data related to the interventions provided and make modifications in selected interventions either to progress the patient/client as directed by the Physical Therapist or to ensure patient/client safety and comfort.

PTAs assist the Physical Therapist in the treatment of individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

The Physical Therapist is responsible for the services provided by the PTA. Physical Therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

PTAs provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings and nursing homes. PTAs must graduate from a CAPTE-accredited PTA program and licensure or certification is required in most states in which a PTA works.

Question 2:  Is there a standby list to be admitted and how many students are admitted each year?

Yes. Selections are made based on points accumulated as described in the Selection Criteria. Up to 16 students will be admitted into each cohort. This is necessary because of the limited clinical space in the county. Several applicants are designated as "standby" status to fill in vacancies in the event any of the admitted applicants decline to enter the program. 

Question 3:  How long is the program?

The Eastern Florida State College Physical Therapist Assistant program is six semesters in length, running consecutively over 24 months. Students are encouraged to take support courses and general education courses prior to acceptance into the A.S. in Physical Therapist Assistant Program. 

Question 4:  Where are the classes in the Physical Therapist Assistant program available?

Major courses and labs are conducted on the Melbourne Campus. Clinical sites throughout the county are utilized, and students may be required to travel significant distances for experiences. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from their clinical sites.

Question 5:  What are the physical requirements for the program?

Physical Therapist Assistants require a broad range of mental, physical, sensory and social skills. Please see the Performance/Technical Standards section of the accepted students web page for more detailed information. 

Question 6:  What classes should be completed before beginning the program?

Students are encouraged to have as many of the general education and support courses completed prior to applying to the program. This is especially helpful if the student has any responsibilities outside of school, such as family or work. However, points for admission are awarded for the science courses. These science courses are difficult enough that they could potentially hamper the ability to succeed in the program, and thus deserve special attention for completion prior to entry. The knowledge gained in these classes also makes the content in the first Physical Therapist Assistant courses easier to comprehend. 

Question 7:  Must the courses in the program follow a particular sequence?

Yes, the Physical Therapist Assistant courses follow in sequence, and there is a continuation and completion policy stating that both didatic and clinical courses in one term must be successfully completed before moving on to the next term. Certain courses must be completed as prerequisites for various Physical Therapist Assistant courses, so students should be sure to follow the planned sequence for courses they have not taken. However, general education and support courses may always be taken prior to their scheduled sequence. For more information and to set up an educational plan, see a health science advisor.

Question 8:  When will I know if I've been admitted?

The admission committee will make selections and schedule interviews within three weeks of the application deadline. Letters will be mailed to all applicants, regardless of status, within one month of application deadline. No results will be given over the phone.