Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

Physical Therapist Assistance program student helps another student on crutches

Physical Therapist Assistant AAS

Program Code: A45620

A Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is a healthcare provider working under the direction of a Physical Therapist. In our program, you’ll learn to treat individuals with muscular, skeletal, cardiopulmonary, and nervous system disorders, as well as injury prevention and individual and group wellness. You will also learn to provide physical therapy services as specified in a care plan developed by a Physical Therapist. Treatment program implementation may include therapeutic exercise, ambulation training, activities of daily living, and administration of physical agents such as heat and cold.

Skills You’ll Learn

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is focused on job-related skills in the following areas:

  • Providing intervention established by the Physical Therapist (PT) in a safe manner while minimizing risk to patients, self, and others
  • Providing appropriate instruction to patients, family, caregivers, and other professionals to achieve patient goals and outcomes as described in the plan of care by the PT
  • Developing a plan for continuing education and/or career development that incorporates evidence-based practice
  • Demonstrating the ability to meet the entry-level job responsibilities of a PTA, which includes academic and clinical preparedness, punctuality, following the PT directives, and ensuring safety, privacy, and confidentiality of patients

Career Opportunities

There are many employment opportunities for Physical Therapist Assistant graduates, including:

Learn more about the Physical Therapist Assistant program’s student outcome data. 

Degree requirements

69 Credit Hours

Courses in this program

Take ACA-111 or ACA-122. 

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides a comprehensive study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Topics include body organization, homeostasis, cytology, histology, and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems and special senses. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of principles of anatomy and physiology and their interrelationships.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 3  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 4 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One:, DRE-097, ENG-002, BSP-4002, ENG-111, Completed MAT-003 with P2 grade level
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces the college's physical, academic, and social environment and promotes the personal development essential for success. Topics include campus facilities and resources; policies, procedures, and programs; study skills; and life management issues such as health, self-esteem, motivation, goal-setting, diversity, and communication. Upon completion, students should be able to function effectively within the college environment to meet their educational objectives.

Lecture Hours: 1  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides information and strategies necessary to develop clear academic and professional goals beyond the community college experience. Topics include the CAA, college policies and culture, career exploration, gathering information on senior institutions, strategic planning, critical thinking, and communications skills for a successful academic transition. Upon completion, students should be able to develop an academic plan to transition successfully to senior institutions.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 2  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides an overview of various aspects of health care delivery systems and the interrelationships of health care team members. Topics include health agencies and their functions, health care team member roles, management, and other health care issues. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss the functions of health organizations and team members and aspects of health care affecting physical therapy delivery.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces the field of physical therapy including the history and standards of practice for the physical therapist assistant and basic treatment techniques. Emphasis is placed on ethical and legal considerations, universal precautions, vital signs, documentation, basic patient preparation and treatment skills, and architectural barrier screening. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the role of the physical therapist assistant and demonstrate competence in basic techniques of patient care.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 2  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides an activity-based approach that develops measurement skills and mathematical literacy using technology to solve problems for non-math intensive programs. Topics include unit conversions and estimation within a variety of measurement systems; ratio and proportion; basic geometric concepts; financial literacy; and statistics including measures of central tendency, dispersion, and charting of data. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the use of mathematics and technology to solve practical problems, and to analyze and communicate results.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 2  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One Set:,Set 1: DMA-010, DMA-020, and DMA-030,Set 2: DMA-025,Set 3: MAT-003,Set 4: BSP-4003
  • Corequisites:
    Take MAT-010

This course includes concepts of injury and repair and documentation methods. Emphasis is placed on physiological effects, indications, contraindications, and skilled applications of selected therapeutic modalities. Upon completion, students should be able to safely, correctly, and effectively apply the emphasized techniques and procedures with understanding of correct documentation.

Lecture Hours: 1  Lab Hours: 1  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take PTA-110
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course is designed to develop the ability to produce clear writing in a variety of genres and formats using a recursive process. Emphasis includes inquiry, analysis, effective use of rhetorical strategies, thesis development, audience awareness, and revision. Upon completion, students should be able to produce unified, coherent, well-developed essays using standard written English.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One Set:,Set 1: DRE-097,Set 2: ENG-002,Set 3: BSP-4002
  • Corequisites:
    Take ENG-011

Take COM-120 or COM-231

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides a continuation of the comprehensive study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Topics include the endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems as well as metabolism, nutrition, acid-base balance, and fluid and electrolyte balance. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of principles of anatomy and physiology and their interrelationships.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 3  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 4 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take BIO-168
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides an organized study of anatomy and kinesiology. Emphasis is placed on the integration of structure and function of the skeletal, articular, muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems to include gait analysis. Upon completion, students should be able to describe the components and demonstrate function of these systems as applied to physical therapy.

Lecture Hours: 1  Lab Hours: 1  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take PTA-140
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces the practices and principles of interpersonal communication in both dyadic and group settings. Emphasis is placed on the communication process, perception, listening, self-disclosure, speech apprehension, ethics, nonverbal communication, conflict, power, and dysfunctional communication relationships. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate interpersonal communication skills, apply basic principles of group discussion, and manage conflict in interpersonal communication situations.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One: DRE-097, ENG-002, BSP-4002, ENG-111
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course is designed to include the theory and practice of additional therapeutic interventions. Topics include but are not limited to electrotherapy, burn and wound care, biofeedback, and selected data collection methods. Upon completion, students should be able to apply these modalities and treatment techniques effectively and safely and demonstrate knowledge of physiological principles involved.

Lecture Hours: 1  Lab Hours: 1  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take PTA-130
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides instruction and experience in preparation and delivery of speeches within a public setting and group discussion. Emphasis is placed on research, preparation, delivery, and evaluation of informative, persuasive, and special occasion public speaking. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and deliver well-organized speeches and participate in group discussion with appropriate audiovisual support.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One: DRE-097, ENG-002, BSP-4002, ENG-111
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course covers muscle physiology, exercise concepts, testing, and applications to the spine and extremities. Topics include strength, endurance, flexibility, and exercise protocols and progressions. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate skill in applying therapeutic exercise principles for non-neurological conditions in a safe and appropriate manner.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 2  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 4 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take PTA-120
  • Corequisites:
    None
Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One from:, DRE-097, ENG-002, BSP-4002
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course is a survey of basic pathology with emphasis on conditions most frequently observed and treated in physical therapy. Topics include etiology, pathology, manifestation, treatment, and prognosis. Upon completion, students should be able to explain repair processes, categorize diseases, define pathology, identify organ/body systems involved, and discuss treatment and prognosis.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course is designed to assist in the development of effective interpersonal skills in the physical therapist assistant setting. Topics include reactions to disability, the grieving process, methods of communication, motivation, health promotion, disease prevention, and aging. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss and demonstrate methods for achieving effective interaction with patients, families, the public, and other health care providers.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

Take HUM-115 or PHI-240. Clinical Education follows completion of seated course PTA-180

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces the use of critical, thinking skills in the context of human conflict., Emphasis is placed on evaluating information, problem solving, approaching cross-cultural, perspectives, and resolving controversies and, dilemmas. Upon completion, students should be, able to demonstrate orally and in writing the use, of critical thinking skills in the analysis of, appropriate texts.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take one set:, Set 1: DRE-098, Set 2: ENG-002, Set 3: BSP-4002 , Set 4: ENG-111
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces theories about the nature and foundations of moral judgments and applications to contemporary moral issues. Emphasis is placed on moral theories such as consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics. Upon completion, students should be able to apply various ethical theories to moral issues such as abortion, capital punishment, poverty, war, terrorism, the treatment of animals, and issues arising from new technologies.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take ENG-111
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces treatment and measurement techniques and discusses treatment programs for selected neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction and injuries. Topics include soft tissue and joint dysfunction, selected assessment techniques, and various exercise programs. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the application of selected data collection methods and functional interventions.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 2  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take PTA-150
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course covers normal development, adult and pediatric/CNS dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, amputee rehabilitation techniques, and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. Topics include neurology review, selected rehabilitation techniques, ADL and functional training, prosthetic and orthotic training, and environmental access. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate safe and correct application of selected rehabilitation techniques for neurological dysfunction, cardiopulmonary conditions, and amputations.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 3  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 5 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces the physical therapy clinic in planned learning experiences and practice under supervision. Emphasis is placed on reinforcement of learned skills in direct patient care and communication. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate satisfactory performance in learned patient care skills, communication, activities, and professional behaviors.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 9  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

Clinical Education follows completion of seated course PTA-260

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides full-time clinical affiliations for planned learning experiences and practice under supervision. Emphasis is placed on reinforcement of learned skills in direct patient care, communications, and professional behaviors. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate satisfactory performance as an entry-level physical therapist assistant and as a member of the physical therapy team.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 30  Credit Hours: 10 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One Set:, Set 1: PTA-180, Set 2: PTA-182 and PTA-210
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course covers the physical therapist assistant profession in preparation for the state licensure exam. Topics include developing time management skills and practicing for the competence examinations. Upon completion, students should be able to identify individual academic strengths and weaknesses and utilize this information to continue self-study for the licensure exam.

Lecture Hours: 1  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

Special admissions requirements

This program has additional application requirements. Please speak with an advisor for details.

Additional information is available here.

Questions others are asking.

We offer several credentials that provide the flexibility you need. Most degree programs last two years and provide the most in-depth study of a particular subject. Diplomas and certificates take less time and are often taken in conjunction with other degree programs. Specialized training is also available for workforce development programs that are completed in less than a year.

A PTT is a non-licensed person who supports licensed staff (PTs, PTAs, OTs, and OTAs) in a clinical setting. They perform administrative tasks, clean and maintain equipment, stock supplies, help patients complete exercises, and assist with the provision of modalities. They help the clinicians to be more effective and efficient.

A PTA is a licensed person who implements the plan of care set by a PT. They provide skilled treatments including manual therapy, gait training, therapeutic activities and exercises, and neuromuscular reeducation in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Craven Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Dr. Daniel Friedlander, Program Director at 252-638-7341 or email: friedlanderd@cravencc.edu.

 

Contact Information

Health Programs
Perdue Hall
New Bern Campus
252-639-2025

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