Proposed Academic Program Inventory Title:
A.A.S. Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant
SOC 1: 31. 2021 Physical Therapist Assistant
SOC 2: 31. 2020 Physical Therapist Assistants and Aids (there is no relationship between PTA educational programming and the occupation of PT Aide so we are unsure of this wording)
Physical Therapist Assistant educational programming is intended to provide general education courses, physical therapy technical courses, and clinical courses that prepare students for licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant. A PTA program combines general education courses and physical therapy courses, as well as clinical education experiences that occur in area healthcare facilities. The PTA educational curriculum is a comprehensive program of study that prepares graduates for taking the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants and entering the field of physical therapy with the required knowledge, skills, and behaviors for a PTA.
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are licensed healthcare providers who deliver 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.
Physical therapist assistant (PTA) programs in Tennessee’s state community college system are accredited two-year associate degree programs that prepare graduates to perform selected components of patient treatment and assessment under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner. These PTA programs combine general education courses, physical therapy lecture and laboratory courses, and clinical education to produce competent, caring, quality oriented physical therapist assistants who are prepared for taking the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and for entering the field of physical therapy with the required knowledge, skills, and behaviors of an entry-level PTA.
Physical Therapist Assistant Graduates of Tennessee’s state community college system will:
- Support the diverse physical therapy healthcare needs of Tennessee communities through employment as physical therapist assistants working under the supervision of physical therapists.
- Demonstrate entry-level competence as physical therapist assistants as evidenced by successful completion of the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and qualification for state licensure.
- Identify career development and lifelong learning opportunities as physical therapist assistants in contemporary physical therapy practice.
Professional Accrediting Body:
Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education
State Agency/Entity Oversight:
None. The TN Board of Physical Therapy licenses PTA graduates once they successfully complete PTA educational programming and the required National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs but the state board office does not have any authority over PTA programming. Graduates may apply for licensure in any state.
Applicable Certification/License or Industry-recognized Certificates to Be Awarded:
Graduates are prepared and eligible for the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs and subsequent licensure per the applicable state’s physical therapy practice laws.
There is not a certificate process for PTAs in any state.
Articulation with Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT): (Which courses are projected to align with TCAT programs?) None