Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical Therapist Assistants work as technical health care providers who work under the supervision of a physical therapist. You would perform movement-related activities and therapeutic techniques for patients with burns, amputations, spinal cord injuries and cardiac, neurologic and orthopedic injuries. Such techniques might include gait training, heat and cold applications, massage and the use of assistive, prosthetic and orthotic devices. This two year program leads to an Associate degree and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
- Estimated Length of Program: 2 years
- Credential Awarded: Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
Attending the Physical Therapist Assistant program at STCC has been the most rewarding and life-changing decision I ever made. The PTA program faculty is very knowledgeable and supportive, and will go above and beyond for their students.Yesenia Saunders, Class of 2018, Newtown Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, Newtown, CT
The STCC Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is one of the oldest accredited programs in the country. It is housed in the spacious ground floor clinic area of Building 20. The program prepares men and women for employment as physical therapist assistants (PTAs). The job market across the country is strong. The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in their Occupational Outlook Handbook projects the employment of physical therapist assistants to grow 29 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy is expected to increase in response to the healthcare needs of an aging population and individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity. The graduate PTA is a technical health care provider who works under the supervision of a physical therapist. The PTA performs movement-related activities and therapeutic techniques for patients with burns, amputations, spinal cord injuries, and cardiac, neurologic and orthopedic injuries. Such techniques include therapeutic exercise; gait training; heat and cold applications; massage; and the use of assistive, prosthetic, orthotic, and electrical devices that improve the independence of people with congenital, traumatic or disease-related processes. The two-year curriculum leading to an associate degree follows the guidelines established by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The curriculum is designed to develop technical and clinical knowledge and skills combining anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, disease processes, psychological and interpersonal relations. Emphasis is placed on ethical and legal considerations. Approximately one semester of the program is supervised practice in selected clinical settings. In addition, students have an opportunity to enhance learned skills under faculty supervision in the Campus Rehabilitation Clinic at STCC.
The STCC PTA Program will transform a group of diverse men and women into outstanding Physical Therapist Assistants who pass the national licensure exam on first attempt. This program will be recognized by peer programs as the regional model in PTA education.
The PTA Program trains, educates, and cultivates entry-level physical therapist assistant students through a dedicated community-engaging academic curriculum committed to the development and achievement of the following:
- clinical and personal critical thinking
- ethical and professional decision making
- effective personal and professional communication skills
- a life-long commitment to learning
The Physical Therapist Assistant program establishes small, personalized learning environments designed to facilitate the development of clinical skill sets, professional engagement between faculty and students, and accomplishment of personal and professional growth. A foundation of biological sciences and the integration of social sciences enable the student to develop the requisite physical therapy skill proficiencies and intellectual abilities to engage the demands of the contemporary healthcare system successfully as a physical therapist assistant.
Upon the successful completion of the requirements for this program, the degree of Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant will be awarded.