Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a Physical Therapist and a Physical Therapist Assistant?
Physical Therapists (PTs) evaluate patients, determine the plan of care and perform skilled treatments. Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) are supervised by the physical therapist. They help the physical therapist by performing selected treatment activities listed in the plan of care.
What is physical therapy?
Physical Therapy (PT) is the art and science of providing care to patients suffering from injury or disease which has resulted in a loss of motion in the joints of the body, a loss of strength in muscles, increased pain, an inability to walk normally, as well as any of several other examples of losses of physical function. Through physical therapy, patients are helped to regain the ability to function at their highest possible level. Patients may include infants, children, adults, and the elderly.
Where do PTAs work?
PTAs work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics and sports medicine centers. Work hours are generally during the daytime, Monday through Friday. Weekend work is generally available or required at hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.
Can I apply to the PTA program if I have a criminal record?
Licensure is the sole responsibility of the Arizona Physical Therapy Association (AzPTA). If you have been convicted of a felony, contact the AzPTA to verify eligibility to be licensed prior to submitting your application.
Do I need to pass an examination to be a PTA?
To hold the title of Physical Therapist Assistant in Arizona, you must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for the respective level of education and training. The examination is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). Costs associated with applying for certification and taking the examination were approximately $560 plus licensing fees.
How many students will be admitted to the PTA program?
A new class of 20 students is admitted each August to the traditional day program. The number of students admitted may change depending on employment market conditions and the availability of clinical training sites. There is a selection process and a deadline to submit applications. In the event of a tie in rank, the space will go to the person who submits his or her application the earliest.
How long does it take to complete the PTA program?
The program at MCC is an integrated two-year program and can be completed in six semesters. (Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring).
Is this PTA program accredited?
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Mohave Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: email@example.com; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 928-505-3347 or email EBriere@mohave.edu.
When are PTA classes scheduled?
Lecture and lab courses may be scheduled Monday through Friday. Classes may begin as early as 8 a.m. and end as late as 5 p.m. Depending on the semester, students may be in class for 6-8 hours, 3-5 days per week. All of these classes are held on-site at Mohave Community College, Lake Havasu City campus.
What facilities can I contact to complete my volunteer/observation experience?
Observation hours can be completed with any facility that has a rehabilitation department with a Physical Therapist or a Physical Therapist Assistant. A list of clinical sites familiar with MCC’s PTA program is included in the application.
Can I work and go to school to become a PTA?
PTA program applicants are cautioned that the PTA program is a rigorous course of study. The program faculty recommends that work hours be kept to a minimum, but each student must make an individual decision about the number of work hours that he/she can handle while continuing to make acceptable academic progress in the program. The program recommends working no more than 20 hrs/week while enrolled in the PTA Program. The Clinical Education experience requires the student to be available for a 40 hour work week over the course of any days of the week as the student shadows the hours of their clinical instructor.
What is the cost of the PTA program?
PTA program fees
Out-of-pocket costs will also include, but not limited to, CPR certification, background check, fingerprint clearance card, vaccines, medical clearance, costs for transportation and housing for clinical rotations, health insurance and additional tests required by individual facilities.
Is financial aid available for the PTA program?
Financial assistance is available to eligible students in the form of grants, scholarships, employment or loans. You may receive aid from one funding source or aid may be offered in a package from multiple sources. Contact the Financial Aid office located on any of the four campuses or visit their web page for additional information.
Are there any special situations I need to be aware of before I apply for the PTA program?
You will be required to complete three clinical education courses during the program. This is a series of work experiences with patients in a variety of off-campus settings, under the supervision of practicing PTAs and PTs. This includes one four-week and two six-week, full-time (40 hours per week) clinical experiences where you must display sufficient skill and competence to enter the field as a practicing PTA. You must be willing and able to organize your time, transportation, and other life responsibilities to complete and benefit fully from your clinical experiences. Working during the clinical education experience is an unrealistic expectation.