Physical Therapy Assistant Prerequisites and Curriculum

PTA program is often a two-year course but you may be able to find accelerated versions online. Though vocational schools may also offer PTA programs, a lot of potential employers and various States only consider those who were able to finish an Associate’s Degree in physical therapy.

Requirements and Prerequisites for PTA Training Programs

In order to enroll in any physical therapy assistant training programs, you will need to present a high school diploma or an equivalent GED. Also, a few programs may have selective admission criteria. Prerequisites vary per PTA school but they often consist of core classes in English, Science and Math. A potential student should consult with an adviser in order to obtain information regarding PTA school admission procedures.

Two of the following subjects are prerequisites in entering Prep for Physical Therapy Assistant Program. A student may complete 3 courses if he wants to get a diploma in PTA education:

  • At least fifty-percent in English Language Arts 30-1/030-1 or, preferably, 70% in English Language Arts 30-2/030-2
  • At least 60% in Biology 30/030
  • At least 50% in Pure (10) or Applied (10) Mathematics
  • Interpersonal Communications (Healthcare Professions)

If you’re thinking that prerequisites are all about subjects that you need to ace, well, you’re badly mistaken. There are other areas of preparation that you should also focus into and those are – emotional and physical preparation.

What more does it takes to become a PTA

Here are the most common characteristics of a PTA that you should possess (or at least try to acquire) before you study to become one:

  • Patience – you are going to work on a day to day basis as a healthcare provider. This kind of job requires a great deal of patience. You will constantly meet patients who are suffering from the toughest physical circumstances who also need into arduous rehab processes or treatments so irritability has no room in this profession.
  • Compassion – you don’t just pretend to care for a patient, you should actually feel empathy for him. Be the kind of person who will know how to put himself in someone else’s shoes. You must be able to understand the difficulties that a patient has to go through. A lot of individuals don’t end up in rehab because it is their choice so it is important to extend some compassion to them.
  • Enthusiasm – this is also an excellent trait of a PTA because it helps in the quicker rehabilitation of patients. If you’re all-smiles, patients will feel that you’re less daunting and they will end up cooperating with you rather than to deflect you.
  • Physical strength – while you can learn how to operate physical therapy equipments in school, it is still required that you are able-bodied from the onset since you’ll do a lot of lifting, stooping, and standing.

Prerequisite Courses in Most PTA Schools

Semester 1 Units
English – Freshman Composition 3
Mathematics for Healthcare Careers 3
Biology – Human Body Structure and Function 4
Medical Terminology 3
TOTAL 13
Semester 2 Units
Speech – Interpersonal Communication 3
English 218 – Advanced Technical Composition 3
Psychology 101 – Introduction to Psychology 3
PTA Prep – Musculoskeletal Focus 3
TOTAL 12
TOTAL PREREQUISITE CREDITS 25

Sample Physical Therapist Assistant Curriculum

A student should refer to the school catalog regarding guidelines for the PTA program. It is also advisable that you consult with a counselor in order to confirm that you have met the academic requirements prior to enrollment.

With regard to textbooks, you can ask your course instructor or go to your school website in order to know what materials will be used for the courses that you are going to take.

COURSE (Fall Semester Year 1) UNITS
Anatomy and Physiology 8
Basic Human Anatomy and Physiology (with additional 5 lab units) 4
English 101 4
PTA-101 Introduction to Physical Therapy 3
PTA-102 Pathology 3
PTA-103 Kinesiology 1 3
PTA-106 Orthopedics 2
Math 155 3
PTA Program (Spring Semester Year 1) Units
PTA-104 Kinesiology 2 3
PTA 105-A Therapeutic Exercises 1 3
PTA-301 Clinical Practicum 4
PTA-108 Advanced Modalities 2
English (Emerging Voices) Recommended 3
Cultural Diversity 3
PTA Program (Fall Semester Year 2) Units
PTA-105B Therapeutic Exercises 2 3
PTA-110 Neurological Disorders 2
PTA-109 Physical Therapy through the Life Span 2
PTA-302 Clinical Practicum Part 2 4
Speech-102 Critical Thinking (Recommended) 3
PTA Program (Spring Semester Year 2) Units
PTA-112 Clinical Affiliation 4.5
PTA-111 Advanced Procedures 2
PTA-140 PTA Licensure Examination Prep 1
PTA-119/PE Sports Performance Testing 2