Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages who have medical or health-related conditions that limit their ability to move or perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTAs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health, extended care facilities, schools, and sports facilities. Upon successful completion of this program, students will
- Follow a plan of care established by a physical therapist and carry out physical therapy interventions in a safe, ethical and competent manner at entry-level;
- Demonstrate effective written, oral and nonverbal communication skills with patients, families/caregivers, health care providers, peers, third-party payers and the public;
- Recognize the need for continued personal and professional growth to ensure competence in current practices of physical therapy and a commitment to lifelong learning;
- Demonstrate behavioral expectations as established by the APTA in the Values-Based Behaviors for the Physical Therapist Assistant (January 2011);
- Participate as an effective member of the health care team and educate the health care community on the respective roles of the PT and PTA; and
- Show a personal commitment of health and wellness and dedication to serve to the profession of physical therapy and the community.
Required Prerequisite Courses:
Prerequisite Total: 26
1AHPT 105 is offered spring semester only.
Spring Semester: Interim Session
Second Semester Total: 20
Total Credits: 72
1AHPT 210, AHPT 220 and AHPT 295 include a 4-8 week clinical at an approved location.
2PSYX 100 is an acceptable substitution.
*Indicates prerequisite and/or corequisite needed. Check course description.
- Students must apply for select admission to the PTA program.
- Applications may be printed off of the FVCC PTA Program website or picked up in the Admissions Office or in the PTA Program Director’s office, BC 123-C, beginning the second week in January and must be returned no later than the second Friday in May. Once applicants have met all the program criteria, selected students will be interviewed by PTA faculty. Students will be informed of their admission status into the PTA program by the second Friday in June.
- Admission to the program is based upon the following:
- High school diploma or GED/HiSET
- Successful completion of the prerequisite first-year courses (a minimum grade of “C” must be earned in each class with an overall GPA of at least a 2.75)
- Clinical observation hours (minimum of 30 hours with at least 10 hours in an inpatient setting)
- An interview
- A background check, drug screen and proof of medical health insurance at the student’s expense
- Documentation of immunization
- Two professional references
- Prior to applying to the program, students must have completed or be in the process of completing the first year of prerequisite courses by the end of spring semester. Students may be advised to take BIOB 101; BIOB 160; or CHMY 121 in preparation for BIOH 201; prerequisite math courses in preparation for M 115 or M 140; and a prerequisite writing class in preparation for WRIT 101.
- Students having completed Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II courses more than five years ago will require program permission to be considered as an applicant.
- A grade of “C” or higher is required for ALL non-PT prerequisite courses.
- Once a student is officially accepted into the PTA program, each AHPT course must be passed with a grade of at least a “C+” for the student to continue in the program. If any course grade is less than a “C+” the student must withdraw from the PTA program (a “C” will not be accepted in technical PTA courses). Remediation will be attempted after filling out an Action Plan form to formulate a plan for improving performance in technical PTA courses. A failing grade will require that the course be repeated, and re-enrollment for courses being repeated will be on a space-available basis. Because PTA technical courses are offered only once per year, this could mean students must wait until the following year to petition for readmission to the program.
- The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Flathead Valley Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 2314; phone: (703) 706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Graduates of this program will be eligible and prepared to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Licensing Exam.
- Once accepted into the PTA program at FVCC, students may incur costs associated with travel to various locations required for internships, which may be outside of the Flathead Valley.
- In addition, students will be assigned a program fee of $300 per semester which covers durable lab items, licensure test, prep course, and miscellaneous clinical/lab program costs.
Opportunities after Graduation
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to grow much faster than average because of increasing demand for physical therapy services. Job prospects for physical therapist assistants are expected to be very good. Overall employment of physical therapist assistants and aides is projected to grow 30 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.
For more information, contact the FVCC Student Support Center or a Faculty Advisor.
|Student Support Center Advisor
|Janice Heil, PT, MAPT
|Julie Robertson, PT, DPT