At a Glance:

Program Coordinator: Dr. Denise Edwards

Dr. Denise Edwards, Coordinator, Physical Therapist Assistant
Phone: 404-225-4401
Email:
Campus: Main
Department: Academic Affairs, Health & Public Safety Technologies

 

Physical Therapist Assistant

Program Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of the physical therapist assistant program is to graduate culturally competent physical therapist assistants to work with the underserved population under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.

Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Atlanta Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org

Work Environment

Physical therapist assistants work in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, the school system and home health.  Hours of work vary with each practice setting based on the needs of the facility. 

Nature of the Work

A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a licensed healthcare provider who is part of the healthcare team working under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist (PT).  PTAs assist patients to improve their function on order to be able to perform activities of daily living (ADLs).  A physical therapist assistant must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to appropriately interact with patients, coworkers and other members of the healthcare team and to be able to motivate patients to do their best.  The job of a physical therapist assistant may be physically demanding at times and may involve lifting.

Program Overview

The program integrates general education, health core curriculum, and specific occupational courses and clinical experience over five semesters of continuous full time study. As well as half-day clinical observations and laboratory experiences off campus, students will attend three full-time clinical rotations, two of four-week duration and one of seven-week duration. Students are wholly responsible for all transportation to and from clinical facilities and are financially responsible for their clinical uniforms and laboratory clothing. The program is offered on a full-time basis during daytime hours. There is no online option. The program admits 12 students once a year, with an application deadline of May 1st.

Once admitted, students must maintain current CPR certification and student membership with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) updated annually at the professional rescuer level, a documented medical examination, including an annual TB test, and maintains a C average or better to remain in good standing. Students are readmitted to the program upon successful completion of a readmission examination with a grade of 80% or higher.

Upon successful completion of this program, the graduate will be awarded an Associates of Applied Science Degree from Atlanta Technical College.

Entrance Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • Must be eighteen (18) years of age.
  • Complete and sign application for admission and pay a nonrefundable fee to Atlanta Technical College Admissions Office.
  • Complete a Physical Therapist Assistant Program application for admission.
  • Submit letter of Intent/application to the ATC Physical Therapist Assistant program.  This form is included inside the PTA application packet.
  • Upon conditional acceptance into the program the student must submit criminal background check and Drug Test.  Provide a copy of valid American Heart Association CPR card (needs to be valid for program duration) along with application documents.  Criminal background checks and drug screen will be required at various intervals throughout the program as designated by the program faculty.
  • Attend Program Information Sessions (mandatory).  The Physical Therapist Assistant Program will host Information Sessions with detailed description of the program and the admission process. Student will gain useful information regarding program costs, program requirements, program course information etc.
  • Submit official High-School or GED transcripts and/or official college transcripts from all colleges attended in the past to the Admissions Office (see General Admissions Requirements).
  • Selection Process:  Weighting will be assigned to students who have completed college courses: ALHS 1090, BIOL 2113 & Lab, BIOL 2114 & LAB, ENGL 1101, MATH 1111, PHYS 1101 & Lab, and PSYC 1110.
  • For students who have not taken college level courses: Weighting will be assigned to High School Graduates overall GPA, MATH and SCIENCE courses.
  • Requirements for transferring courses from another approved institution includes ensuring courses BIOL 2113 & Lab, BIOL 2114 & Lab, PHYS 1110 & Lab, ALHS 1090, are less than five (5) years old including courses previously taken at Atlanta Technical College, and must have a minimum grade of (B)
  • Valid COMPASS, ASSET, SAT, or ACT test scores comparable to the Associate Degree level.
  • Must have AVERAGE or above average score on the HOBET test within the last three (3) years.
  • Must be identified as Program Ready by Atlanta Technical College for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

Additional Requirements for the competitive admissions process:

  • Attend a Physical Therapist Assistant program advisement session in the year for which admission is sought.
  • Complete a total of forty (40) hours of volunteer, observation, or work experience ideally in more than one physical therapy setting.
  • Attend a mandatory interview with the Physical Therapist Assistant panel on designated dates.  No make-up dates or times available.
  • The program requires a full-time commitment from the student as classes are scheduled daily from 8:00am-6:00pm with some evening and/or weekend time commitments.

*If the above criteria are not met, an applicant file cannot be processed for selection into the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.*

As set forth in its student catalog, Atlanta Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). For further information regarding these laws (Title VI and IX) contact Sylvie Moses, equity/special needs coordinator, Atlanta Technical College, Cleveland Dennard Center, suite B164, 404.225.4434. Email: smoses@atlantatech.edu. To request reasonable accommodations upon enrollment (Section 504/ADA), contact Sylvie Moses, career planner/special needs, student affairs division, Cleveland Dennard Building, suite B164, 404.225.4434. Email: smoses@atlantatech.edu. Atlanta Technical College, 1560 Metropolitan Parkway, SW, Atlanta, GA 30310.

 

Course Overview

Contact Hours
Credit Hours
General Core Curriculum (27 hours)
MATH
1111
3
45
Emphasizes techniques of problem solving using algebraic concepts. Topics include fundamental concepts of algebra, equations and inequalities, functions and graphs, and systems of equations; optional topics include sequences, series, and probability or analytic geometry.
3
45
Explores the analysis of literature and articles about issues in the humanities and in society. Students practice various modes of writing, ranging from exposition to argumentation and persuasion. The course includes a review of standard grammatical and stylistic usage in proofreading and editing. An introduction to library resources lays the foundation for research. Topics include writing analysis and practice, revision, and research. Students write a research paper using library resources and using a formatting and documentation style appropriate to the purpose and audience.
Introduces the major fields of contemporary psychology. Emphasis is on fundamental principles of psychology as a science. Topics include research design, the organization and operation of the nervous system, sensation and perception, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, thinking and intelligence, lifespan development, personality, psychopathology and interventions, stress and health, and social psychology.
Explores the philosophic and artistic heritage of humanity expressed through a historical perspective on visual arts, music, and literature. The humanities provide insight into people and society. Topics include historical and cultural developments, contributions of the humanities, and research.
PHYS
1110
3
45
Introduces some of the basic laws of physics. Topics include systems of units and conversion of units, vector algebra, Newtonian mechanics, fluids and thermodynamics, heat, light, and optics, mechanical waves, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics.
1
45
Selected laboratory exercises paralleling the topics in PHYS 1110. The laboratory exercises for this course include systems of units and systems of measurement, vector algebra, Newtonian mechanics, fluids and thermodynamics, heat, light, and optics, mechanical waves, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics.
3
45
Introduces the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the development of a systemic perspective of anatomical structures and physiological processes. Topics include body organization, cell structure and functions, tissue classifications, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous and sensory systems.
Selected laboratory exercises paralleling the topics in BIOL 2113. The laboratory exercises for this course include body organization, cell structure and functions, tissue classifications, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous sensory systems.
Continues the study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Topics include the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, blood and lymphatic system, immune system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, and reproductive system.
Selected laboratory exercises paralleling the topics in BIOL 2114. The laboratory exercises for this course include the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, blood and lymphatic system, immune system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, and reproductive system.
PSYC
2103
3
45
Emphasizes changes that occur during the human life cycle beginning with conception and continuing through late adulthood and death and emphasizes the scientific basis of our knowledge of human growth and development and the interactive forces of nature and nurture. Topics include but are not limited to theoretical perspectives and research methods, prenatal development and child birth, stages of development from infancy through late adulthood, and death and dying.
Occupational Curriculum (53 hours)
Introduces the elements of medical terminology. Emphasis is placed on building familiarity with medical words through knowledge of roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Topics include: origins (roots, prefixes, and suffixes), word building, abbreviations and symbols, and terminology related to the human anatomy.
3
75
Introduces the fundamental concepts, terminology, and operations necessary to use computers. Emphasis is placed on basic functions and familiarity with computer use. Topics include an introduction to computer terminology, the Windows environment, Internet and email, word processing software, spreadsheet software, database software, and presentation software.

This course integrates knowledge from the liberal arts, behavioral and social sciences, and introduces students to the profession of physical therapy. Topics include professional responsibilities and core values; legal and ethical responsibilities in physical therapy practice; current trends in physical therapy; communication skills; cultural competency, health disparities and research and evidence-based practice..

2
60

This course integrates knowledge from the liberal arts - behavioral and social, and introduces students to basic patient care skills and administrative tasks in physical therapy. Topics include patient care skills; principles of teaching and learning; documentations skills; and administrative and management tasks.

This course introduces the principles and application techniques for various physical therapy interventions. Topics include superficial and deep thermal physical agents; athermal agents and electromagnetic radiation; therapeutic massage techniques; wound care and personal protection; and instruction in assessment techniques for sensory response.

PHTA
2110
4
90

This course provides a survey of injuries and diseases commonly treated by physical therapist assistants. Topics include review of systems; an examination of musculoskeletal system disorders and diseases; examination of general medical disorders and diseases; examination of circulation, respiration, and ventilation; recognition and response procedures for changes in physiologic status; and an overview of pharmacology for pain, musculoskeletal, endocrine, and GI system management.

This course introduces the basic concepts of functional anatomy and the study of human movement. This course also consolidates knowledge gained in physics, anatomy and physiology in the core sciences. Topics include an overview of kinesiology and the principles of biomechanics; examination of the neuro-muscular and musculo-skeletal systems; a review of muscle attachments, actions, and innervations; and instruction in assessment techniques for measuring joint range of motion.

This course provides continued instruction in the principles and application techniques for various physical therapy interventions. Topics include pain theories and assessment techniques; mechanical physical agents; electrotherapeutic physical agents; and adaptive, protective, and supportive devices.
PHTA
2120
3
105

This course provides instruction in exercises and rehabilitation techniques commonly utilized by physical therapist assistants. Topics include functional mobility and training; rehabilitation techniques for musculoskeletal disorders; gait training and assistive devices; home management, community, and work reintegration; and health promotion, wellness and prevention.

4
180

This course provides students with the opportunity to observe and practice skills learned in the classroom and laboratory [PHTA 1110, PHTA 1120, PHTA 1130, PHTA 1140, PHTA 2110, PHTA 2120, PHTA 2130] at various clinical settings for physical therapy practice. Students will be supervised by a clinical instructor who is either a licensed physical therapist or licensed physical therapist assistant. Topics include preparation of patients, treatment areas, and equipment; vital signs and sensory assessment; wound care and personal protection; transfers, body mechanics, and assistive devices; application of physical agents; goniometric measurements; therapeutic massage; interpersonal and communication skills; principles of teaching and learning; documentation; and modification of interventions within the plan of care.

PHTA
2160
3
105

This course provides continued instruction in exercises and rehabilitation techniques commonly utilized by physical therapist assistants. Topics include rehabilitation of the neurological patient; rehabilitation of the pediatric patient; cardiac rehabilitation and chest physical therapy techniques; prosthetic and orthotic training; and the assessment of arousal, attention, and cognition.

PHTA
2150
4
105

This course provides continued instruction on diseases and conditions commonly treated by physical therapist assistants with an emphasis on neurological conditions. Topics include a review of neuro-anatomy and physiology; examination of neurological disorders and diseases; examination of pediatric disorders and diseases; limb deficiency disorders; and pharmacology for spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and cardiac and pulmonary system management.

PHTA
2170
3
90

This course provides continued instruction in the study of human movement. Topics include posture and equilibrium; gait, locomotion, and balance; advanced gait training techniques; and the assessment of muscle performance.

4
180

This course provides continued opportunity for clinical education under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist or licensed physical therapist assistant in various health care facilities. Topics include therapeutic exercise; interventions for neurological conditions; mechanical and electrotherapeutic physical agents; gait and posture analysis; advanced gait training techniques; manual muscle testing; interventions for limb deficiency disorders; identification of architectural barriers; interpersonal and communication skills; principles of teaching and learning; documentation; and modification of interventions within the plan of care.

This seminar course prepares students for entry into the field of physical therapy as physical therapist assistants. Topics include review for the licensure examination; presentation of a case study; and overview of career development and commitment to lifelong learning.

7
315

This course provides continued opportunity for clinical education under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist or licensed physical therapist assistant in various health care facilities. Topics include therapeutic exercise; interventions for neurological conditions; mechanical and electrotherapeutic physical agents; gait and posture analysis; advanced gait training techniques; manual muscle testing; interventions for limb deficiency disorders; identification of architectural barriers; interpersonal and communication skills; principles of teaching and learning; documentation; and modification of interventions within the plan of care.