Overview of Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical therapy is a health profession with the primary purpose of restoring, maintaining and improving the quality of life of the healthy and those with injury or dysfunction.
Through the use of such tools as physical agents (i.e., heat, cold, ultrasound, traction, electrical stimulation), gait training, massage, and various forms of exercise, physical therapy professionals work in a variety of settings with a variety of patients.
Some settings in which physical therapy is performed include hospitals, private clinics, rehabilitation units/center, nursing homes, schools and private homes.
Patients treated in physical therapy range from newborns to the geriatric population and sample diagnoses would include cerebral palsy, athletic injuries, back/neck problems, strokes, burns/wounds, post-surgical conditions, and spinal cord injuries.
What do grads of the program do?
Physical therapist assistants must complete a two-year educational program.. The graduates must then pass a PTA state licensure exam before they can work as a PTA, but the AAS degree is conferred.
Physical therapist assistants work under the supervision of a physical therapist. Their duties include assisting the physical therapist in implementing treatment programs according to the plan of care, training patients in exercises and activities of daily living, conducting treatments, using special equipment, administering modalities and other treatment procedures, and reporting to the physical therapist on the patients.
What is the job outlook for graduates?
While the job market for PTA’s has decreased over the last few years, there is still a need for PTA’s in the healthcare setting especially in rural areas. The competition for these jobs has increased slightly, however, to date, all graduates of the PTA program wishing to find employment in the field have done so. The current job growth for PTA’s in the state of Texas is 46%. The Bureau of the Department of Labor statistics show the need for PTA's is expected to grow much faster than the average rate through the year 2020.
What kind of salary can graduates expect?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Services, the national median salary for Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) was $49,690. Local salaries will vary.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The PTA Program at KC is a two-year associate degree program combining academic and clinical course work and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. The PTA Program admits one class per year to begin in the fall. Class size is currently limited to 16-18 students and there are usually between 80-100 applicants each year. All PTHA courses must be taken in sequence and can be taken only in the semester identified.
PTA PROGRAM ACCREDITATION STATUS:
The PTA Program at Kilgore 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.capteonline.org. The most recent accreditation decision was made on Nov. 7, 2012, and is valid through June 30, 2021.
PTA PROGRAM STUDENT OUTCOMES:
The PTA Program at Kilgore College has excellent student outcomes for its students including graduation rates, licensure pass rates on the national licensure exam, and employment rates. For the most recent three years of data collection (2011-2013), the following outcomes are noted in these areas:
Graduation rates - 97.9 %
National licensure exam pass rates - 93.6 %
Employment rates - 97.9 %
KC PTA Program Philosophy Mission Statement and Goals
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Kilgore College is committed to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. We exist to provide the highest quality education possible to our students to provide the community with physical therapist assistants who are capable of providing physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist in a safe, effective, ethical, and lawful manner to individuals of all ages and diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program corresponds with the mission of Kilgore College which is to provide “educational opportunities that have high quality, great value, . . . and community focus”. The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, therefore, is to provide quality education that encompasses theory, knowledge and clinical skills needed to graduate caring, competent, and qualified entry-level physical therapist assistants who will provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist to meet the needs of the community in a variety of clinical settings.
In accordance with its mission and philosophy, the Physical Therapist Assistant Program has the following goals:
--To provide students with knowledge and practical experience through classroom, lab and clinical education experiences which reflect prevalent practices of physical therapy,
--To promote a curriculum dedicated to instilling personal growth and development, lifelong learning, involvement in the profession, and commitment to society,
--To prepare physical therapist assistants to work collaboratively as a member of the healthcare team in the best interest of the patient, and
--To produce graduate physical therapist assistants who function ethically, legally, safely, effectively, and efficiently under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.
NEW CRIMINAL HISTORY EVALUATION
If you have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, with the exception of minor traffic violations, you will need to have your criminal history evaluated by the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners to determine eligibility for licensure in the state of Texas. This includes guilty verdicts, no contest pleas, probation, and deferred adjudication. This process is fully outlined on the Licensing Board’s website at www.ecptote.state.tx.us. The applicant should go to this website for instructions and necessary forms to start the process. This process will cost the applicant $50.00 and may take up to 120 days to complete, so the applicant is encouraged to start this process early if applicable. A positive ruling by the Board that this criminal history will not make the applicant ineligible to receive a license in Texas will be required before the applicant can begin the PTA program. The applicant may still apply to the program before the process is complete, but will not be allowed to officially be accepted into the program until the process is complete and the student is deemed eligible for licensure.
KC PTA Program Public Comment Policy
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Kilgore College engages in continuous and systematic evaluation and improvement. We welcome the community’s comments, suggestions, ideas, and constructive criticism as part of that process. Individuals in the community who do not have a formal affiliation with this institution or program are also welcome to provide comments according to the following policy.
- This process is only for comments or concerns that cannot be addressed by existing grievance procedures described in the KC Catalog, Faculty Handbook, Student Handbook, or the PTA Program Student Policy and Procedure Manual.
- Comments must be provided in writing and signed by the author. Anonymous submissions will not be acknowledged, nor will written comments provided on behalf of an anonymous source.
- Comments must be submitted to the following:
PTA Program Director
Kilgore, TX 75662
- Comments regarding the PTA Program Director can be directed to the Dean of Math, Science, and Health Sciences at the same address.
- The PTA Program Director (or Dean) shall respond to all comments within seven (7) days to further discuss and resolve the issue. If unsatisfactory resolution is not or cannot be reached, an appeal may be made in writing to the Dean of Math, Science, and Health Sciences (if not already contacted) within seven (7) days. Again, if unsatisfactory resolution is not or cannot be reached, an appeal may be made to the Vice-President of Instruction within seven (7) days or ultimately to the Office of the President within seven (7) days. The decision of the President will be final and not subject to further appeal. Neither the Dean, Vice-President, or President will become involved until all attempts to resolve the issue with the Program Director have been exhausted (unless the comments is directly related to the performance of the Program Director as noted above).
- Records of all correspondence will be confidentially maintained by the PTA Program Director for five (5) years. These records will not be open to the public.
As a career contact the American Physical Therapy Association at 1-800-999-APTA or on the Internet at www.apta.org. Also the email address and telephone number listed below for all interested students.
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Carla Gleaton, P.T., M.Ed.
PTA Program Director & Instructor
Office: TV 113-A
Phone: (903) 983-8148
FAX: (903) 988-7541
Location: Technical Vocational Building (TV)
Program qualifies for the Texas Two-Step Project.
Credits will apply towards a bachelor's degree.