Purpose

The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Germanna Community College is to prepare successful graduates of a comprehensive and contemporary program of study who have the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of entry-level physical therapist assistants, and who are able to meet the employment needs of the surrounding communities.

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Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to collect and review data and to administer evidence-based interventions within the limits of the PTA scope of work and as outlined by the physical therapist in the plan of care.
  2. Students will demonstrate written and verbal communication related to the practice of physical therapy that is effective, professional, and presented in a manner appropriate to the audience.
  3. Students will apply critical thinking and decision-making skills to the provision of physical therapy care to ensure patient safety and to appropriately progress the plan of care developed by the physical therapist.
  4. Students will adhere to federal and state regulations, facility policies and procedures, and APTA standards of ethical conduct in clinical practice as a physical therapist assistant.

Accreditation Status of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Effective April 29, 2015, the physical therapist assistant program at Germanna Community College has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; accreditation@apta.org. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.

Essential Functions of the PTA

In the course of the PTA curriculum, students are required to demonstrate certain physical, behavioral and cognitive functions related to those expected in physical therapy practice, as well as specific factors related to the classroom experience. Germanna Community College has adopted standards that students of the program are expected to possess. A list of the Essential Functions is available in the complete PTA Application Packet found online. Qualified individuals with a disability who can perform these essential functions with reasonable accommodations may be considered for admission to the program; however, they must contact a college disabilities counselor to determine what reasonable accommodations are appropriate to this setting. Provisions for accommodations will be made in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Occupational Objectives

Employment opportunities for the PTA include jobs in hospitals, nursing home/extended care facilities, assisted living facilities, outpatient clinics, home health, Veteran’s Administration clinics, sports facilities, and school systems. Experienced physical therapist assistants are also utilized as clinic directors. The physical therapist assistant works under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist to administer components of the plan of care.

Admission Requirements for All Applicants

Prospective students must complete the following as part of the program application and admissions process:

  1. Apply for and be granted admission to Germanna Community College.
  2. Have official High School and College Transcripts mailed to Germanna Community College Admissions and Records. Assure that transcripts from all other colleges attended are on file with the GCC Admissions and Records office prior to the program application deadline date. Any transfer credits must be evaluated before any transfer credit is granted. Transfer Counselors are available; please ask the Welcome Center staff for assistance.
  3. Attend a Physical Therapist Assistant Information Session (dates are posted on the PTA Program website).
  4. Complete the prerequisite general education courses with a grade of “C” or better: Points earned for “A’s” and “B’s” will contribute to application priority points.
  5. Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better for all prerequisites and/or required general education courses.
  6. Complete two (2) distinct volunteer/observation experiences of 20 hours each under the supervision of a Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant. One experience must be in a hospital or long-term care facility. Supervisor evaluation forms and instructions for submission are available in the Application Packet online.
  7. Meet with the PTA Program Director or Clinical Director (ACCE) within the 6 months prior to the application deadline to review the transcript and to identify remaining criteria to be met. County/city of residency will be reviewed in the Student Information System and recorded in the student’s file for awarding of residency points.
  8. Submit a current background check and drug screen through CertifiedBackground.com.
  9. Submit all components of the PTA Program Application by the application deadline, including
    1. Personal Statement essay explaining the student’s reasoning for choosing the field of PTA
    2. Current class schedule, if enrolled in any pre- or co-requisite courses.

Basic Requirements and Competencies

Applicants will meet the following basic requirements:

  • Valid High School diploma or GED
  • Acceptance as a student at Germanna Community College
  • Competency in MTE 1-4 as a pre-admission qualification
  • Successful challenge of GCC computer competency test or completion of ITE 115, prior to admission

Students transferring from another college or university will consult with the Admissions and Records Office for an evaluation of transfer credit. Official transfer credit evaluations will be completed when all official transcripts and a Request for Evaluation of Transfer Credit form are received by the Admissions and Records Office.

Applications will be accepted between April 15 and May 15 each year.

Admission to the PTA program is competitive; class size is limited and not all qualified applicants can be accepted. Targeted class size is twelve (12) students. A standardized system of evaluation criteria is in place, and interested students are advised of these criteria during attendance at an Information Session, and through material available online and through college advisors. Applications are evaluated based on the following components: points earned for A’s and B’s in selected prerequisite and  recommended co-requisite courses, volunteer/observation supervisor ratings, the applicant’s Personal Statement, and priority points for residency in the service area. In order to be considered for admission, the applicant must submit all required materials during the open application period, and no later than the posted deadline. Applications will be reviewed by the PTA Program faculty in a blinded process, and by Admissions and Records staff who calculate total points. A selection committee meets to review the applications and to identify the top 20 applicants. This selection committee is comprised of the Dean of Nursing and Health Technologies, the PTA Program Faculty, Counselors, and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council. The 20 applicants are invited to interview in Phase II of the application process. Interview scores are based on a standardized rubric and an average score calculated to identify the top 12 candidates. The interview panel consists of two full-time PTA faculty members and a representative of the college Diversity and Inclusion Council.

It is recommended that General Education requirements and math and computer competencies be completed within five years prior to application to the program. It is  mandatory that science courses be completed within the five years prior to admission. In instances where a student has been involved in continued study or employment utilizing the prerequisite science course content, this time requirement may be waived by the Program Director.

Applications do not carry over from year to year. If a student is not accepted and wishes to re-apply, he/she must resubmit a new application the next annual cycle. Volunteer experiences and evaluation forms completed for the original application will be accepted provided they were completed within two years of the new application deadline.

Students of the PTA program follow a structured curriculum designed to progress from the simple to complex, and from basic understanding to competent performance. Students will develop both cognitive and psychomotor skills through individual reading, traditional lecture, lab, group projects, role-playing, one-on-one guidance, peer mentorship, use of interactive study aids, and off-campus experiences. Students will also complete three distinct clinical education experiences, embedded into the final three semesters of the program. Competence as an entry-level PTA requires hours of hands-on and performance practice, both in the lab and in the clinical environment. Students will develop their skills by learning not only intellectually, but in the psychomotor and behavioral domains as well. In this way, the student will be prepared with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for successful practice as a physical therapist assistant.

A.A.S. IN PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT CURRICULUM: (Including prerequisites and required General Education courses):

Total Minimum Credits 62
Degree RequirementsCoursesCredits
Student DevelopmentSDV 100 or 1011
EnglishEnglish 1113
HumanitiesAny course from ART, ENG LIT, HUM, MUS, PHI, REL, or Foreign Language (American Sign Language does not qualify)3
Social SciencesPSY 230, SOC 2006
Biology or Natural SciencesBIO 141-142 (or NAS 161-162)8
CPRHLT 1051
PTA Technical Courses (taken in predetermined sequence)PTH 105, 110, 115, 121, 131, 151, 210, 225, 226, 251, 252, 25544

SUGGESTED SCHEDULING:

Students are expected to progress sequentially through the PTA curriculum. Progression from one semester to the next is dependent on passing each PTH-prefix course with a “C” or better, and maintaining an overall 2.5 GPA. Students will be given opportunity for remediation if they are in danger of not passing a course. Clear guidelines for minimum requirements to pass each course are included in the course syllabi. Students are expected to avail themselves of open lab opportunities if they are experiencing trouble in any PTA program course.

Semester 1

Total Credits 12
Course Credits
BIO 141 (or NAS 161) 4
ENG 111 3
PSY 230  3
SDV 100 or any approved SDV course 1
HLT 105 1

Semester 2

Total Credits 16
Course Credits
BIO 142 (or NAS 162) 4
PTH 105Introduction to PTA2
PTH 121Therapeutic Procedures I5
PTH 151Musculoskeletal Structure & Function5

Semester 3

Total Credits 12
Course Credits
PTH 115Kinesiology for the PTA4
PTH 122Therapeutic Procedures II5
PTH 110 Medical Reporting1
PTH 121Clinical Education (135 hours)2

Semester 4

Total Credits 13
Course Credits
PTH 225Rehabilitation Procedures5
PTH 251Clinical Practium I (225 Hours)3
MTH Psychology Aspects of Therapy2
Humanities Elective 3

Semester 5

Total for degree 66
Course Credits
PTH 226Therapeutic Exercise4
PTH 252Clinical Practicum II (240 hours)4
SOC 200Principles of Sociology3
PTH 255Seminar in Physical Therapy2
Total Credits 13
   
Total PTH credits 44