The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program trains students to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages who have medical problems, or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.
The PTA Program is committed to:
- Provide an accredited program of instruction in Northwest Louisiana and the surrounding area for students who desire to pursue education in physical therapy at the associate degree level.
- Serve the needs of the regional physical therapy community through graduating well-qualified physical therapist assistants to work under the direction of physical therapists in a variety of clinical environments.
The Bossier Parish Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Recipients of the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant will be able to demonstrate:
- adherence to the APTA core values and regulatory agency guidelines defining the PTA’s role as it relates to social, professional, ethical, legal and administrative responsibilities and conduct;
- verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that are sensitive to diversity during interactions with patients, caregivers, coworkers and other medical professionals, including the ability to develop rapport, collaborate, inform, inquire, redirect and teach;
- use of current and emerging technologies and equipment required in the assessment and intervention of patients;
- ability to gather data through research of medical publications and patient records, observation, and performance physical therapy interim assessments;
- timely reporting of relevant changes in patients’ status including preparation of accurate, logically sequenced documentation;
- implementation and safe progression of physical therapy interventions guided by patients’ status and consistent with the goals and plan of care developed by the physical therapist;
- use of critical thinking based on foundational physical therapy knowledge to solve problems and develop appropriate clinical judgments; and
- lifelong learning through continuing education, service as a clinical educator of PTA students, and analysis of health care literature to achieve and maintain licensure and expand knowledge and skills in physical therapy practice.
This program includes a required clinical component. Persons interested in pursuing this degree should be aware of all information concerning clinical programs described on the Division of Science, Nursing, and Allied Health page. This program articulates with one or more institutions or agencies. Refer to the Articulation Agreements section of the catalog for further detail.
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) curriculum is sequenced in two phases. The first phase consists of 31 credit hours of general education curriculum (Qualification Courses) that must be successfully completed before a student is eligible to apply for the PTA Program courses. Anatomy and Physiology lecture and lab courses (8 hours total) must be current within five years from the application deadline. Admission to the PTA Program is selective and competitive. Completion of the qualification courses does not guarantee admission to the PTA Program. The second phase consists of 27 credit hours of classroom and laboratory activities related to physical therapy and 14 credit hours of clinical practice experiences under the direct supervision of a physical therapist participating in patient care. In order to complete the Associate of Applied Science in PTA, clinical PTA students must pass all program classes with a “C” or better while also maintaining a 2.500 per semester GPA.
Once selected for the PTA program, students will be required to provide health information and meet all requirements for a program with a clinical component.
Students who are selected for the PTA Program must be available for daytime, evening, and occasional weekend classes. In addition, based upon clinical site availability, PTA students will be required to complete one or more clinical rotations (4-5 weeks in duration) at an out-of-town facility.
After completion of the program, PTA Program graduates will need to take and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination to be eligible to apply for a license to practice as a PTA.
Application Process/Policy for Admission into the PTA Program:
The application cycle for the PTA program begins each spring. Complete instructions and deadlines are available on the program website. Students that are selected for the clinical program should be available to begin classes on the first day of the “C Session” of the summer semester. Students must meet program specific criteria in the areas outlined below to be eligible for an interview.
- Prerequisite GPA must be 2.500 or higher and students must earn a “C” or better in all qualification courses.
- All qualification courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester in the application year.
- Students must complete a minimum of 40 observation hours in two different settings with two different licensed physical therapy providers. PTA Faculty provide official forms and instructions for observation experiences during an application eligibility appointment in the PTA Program office
- Program application packet must be complete by April 15. Partial/incomplete packets will not be considered.
Interviews are conducted after the conclusion of the spring semester of each year. A maximum of 50 of the highest scoring PTA applicants will be eligible for an interview with the Program Admissions Committee. All applicants will be notified of their status.
Required Courses for the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant: