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WHAT DOES A PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT DO?

VIDEO: A solid foundation and future

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed 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. PTAs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health, nursing homes, schools, sports facilities, and more.

WHERE PT ASSISTANTS WORK

COS PTA students graduate prepared to work at acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, inpatient rehabilitation centers, school based health care services.

OUTPATIENT

Patient care focused on therapeutic exercises/ functional activities as well as manual techniques for treatment, utilization of appropriate modalities, and patient education to promote a successful home exercise program.

HOSPITALS

A unique workplace with diverse opportunities. An opportunity to collaborate with others in a patient’s care that demands the ability to communicate well and the flexibility to work with patients of all ages.

REHABILITATION / SKILLED NURSING

Administering patient care programs in an inpatient acute level setting, focused on restoring function, prevent disability, and help patients reach their maximum level of independence.

VIDEO: Employers Perspectives

We have our students do 680 hours of clinical placements, so they are in the clinic working as a PT aide student throughout the 2 years. This provides a really good relationship with potential employers. So all our students have been offered jobs both from their clinical sites, as well as placement service.

THE COS PTA TWO-YEAR PROGRAM

YEAR 1

FALL SEMESTER

PTA 121 – Fundamentals for the PTA – 2 Units
PTA 125 – Basic Principles of Patient Management – 3 Units
PTA 128 – Kinesiology – 3 Units
PTA 128 – Engineering and Physics For PTA – 1 Unit

SPRING SEMESTER

PTA 130 – Physical Agents and Modalities – 3 Units
PTA 139 – Pathophysiology – 2 Units
PTA 140 – Administration for the PTA – 1 Unit
PTA 148 – Orthopedics – 3 Units
PTA 150 – Clinical Education I – 3 Units

YEAR 2

FALL SEMESTER

PTA 145 – Neurorehabilitation for the PTA – 3 Units
PTA 152 – Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation – 3 Units
PTA 155 – Therapeutic Exercise – 4 Units

SPRING SEMESTER

PTA 160 – Clinical Education II – 5 Units
PTA 161 – Clinical Education III – 6 Units
PTA 170 – Seminar for the PTA – 1 Unit

VIDEO: Alumni share their experiences

Current PTA staffers talk about how the experience at the COS PTA program prepared them for the work they do every day helping people rehab and get back to their lives.

HOW DIFFICULT IS THE PROGRAM ONCE I’M IN?

The program course work is considered a full-time student load. Classes and labs are held during the day usually between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. PTA students usually attend classes 3-4 days per week depending on the semester and year. If you’ve completed all your general education requirements there would be more flexibility for part-time work. If you have to complete general education units concurrently with core course work, it would be difficult to have time to work. In the second semester, you will be required to do 20 hours a week of clinical experience for six weeks and in the fourth semester you have to perform 40 hours a week of clinical affiliation for 15 weeks. Your time will be quite full.

All General Education units have to be completed as well, not just the 43 PTA units

Total Core Course Units Required: 43

Additional General Education units must also be completed

HOW DO I GET INTO THE PROGRAM?

REQUIREMENTS

  • Graduation from an accredited high school or GED equivalency
  • Cumulative College Grade Point Average of 2.5 or higher
  • 2.5 or higher Grade Point Average on combined biology prerequisites: BIOL 30 (Anatomy) 4 semester units including a lab component; BIOL 31 (Physiology) 4 semester units including a lab component.
  • We rank applications by grades in Human Anatomy and Physiology; ties are broken by overall Grade Point Average.
  • A minimum grade of “C” in all prerequisite courses is required. Please be advised that a “C” in all prerequisites courses does not meet the 2.5 minimum Grade Point Average requirements.
  • No more than one repetition of any biology course is allowed. W’s count as a repeat.
  • Clinical placements will require background check and drug screen prior to clinical courses.
  • Applications are due by June 15th each year for fall semester.
  • Upon admission to the program, all applicants must provide the following valid and current information: American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR Card; health clearance (Immunizations and physical exam); California driver’s license; California automobile insurance and reliable use of transportation.

VIDEO: A competitive and rigorous enrollment process

Currently, the COS PTA Program has an enrollment number of 28 each year and more than 100 people apply for those spots. All applicants must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA in Anatomy and Physiology.  Applicants are ranked by grade in Anatomy and Physiology.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

VIDEO: Costs of expectations for the COS PTA Program

The cost of the two-year degree program’s 43 units, books, supplies, uniforms and transportation to clinical sites is approximately $6,500.

HOW MUCH DOES A PT ASSISTANT MAKE?

VIDEO: Earning potential for PTA graduates

PT Assistant graduates are in great demand and starting wages are up to $25/hr in outpatient, hospital and skilled-nursing settings.

COS PTA GRADUATES EARN A STARTING SALARY OF UP TO $25/hr

WHO TEACHES IN THE PTA PROGRAM?

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Jonna Schengel, PT, MA, Ed.D., Program Director

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Tatiana Deeff, MPT, Physical Therapist Professor

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Angela Sanchez, Senior Secretary for the Physical Therapy Assistant Program

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Joe Sousa, DPT, Physical Therapist Professor

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

IMPORTANT DATES

Keep up to date with application deadlines and opportunities to learn more about the  Program.

APPLICATION

Download the latest COS PTA Application form. All applications are due by June 15.

RESOURCES

Access important documents and other materials that will be helpful during the application process.

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