Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Advisors:

Dr. Matthew Wilson PT, DPT

Program Director 

mawilson@collegeofthedesert.edu 

Ben Fitzpatrick PT, MSPT, MEd

Clinical Education Coordinator

bkfitzpatrick@collegeofthedesert.edu

Accreditation:

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703.706.3245;  accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

 
College of the Desert is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage,  
on 12/01/2022. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation  status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the technical phase of the  program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been  achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward  accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation. 

 

Physical Therapist Assistant Program

The Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares students for employment as physical therapist assistants (PTA). The PTA functions through the direction of a physical therapist (PT) to implement the PT’s plan of care. The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to aid patients and clients in their return to maximal function. PTA students are instructed in thinking processes and skills such as therapeutic exercise, orthopedic and neurological interventions, therapeutic modalities, and the art of patient care. In addition to patient treatment courses, students study the basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, clinical pathology, and kinesiology. Clinical education experiences are integrated throughout the curriculum and offer students the opportunity to practice the techniques learned and practiced each semester. Students can complete the program in two years.

The program's first cohort is set to begin classes the Summer of 2023. To apply for acceptance into the technical phase of the program, students must have completed or be enrolled to complete all prerequisites and all classes completed prior to the start of PTA classes.

Course Code Title Units
BI 013 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BI 014 Anatomy and Physiology II 5
PSY 001 or PSY 003 General Psychology or Developmental Psychology 3
PHIL 006 or PHIL 013 or PHIL 014 Introduction to Philosophy or Perspectives on Death & Dying or Introduction to Ethics 3
ENG 001a Composition 4
Math 049 or College Level Math Intermediate Algebra or College Level Math 3-4
KINE 008 Introduction to Kinesiology  3

 

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program admits a maximum of 25 students once per year. Admission is by random selection of eligible candidates.

For admission in the Physical Therapist Assistant program students must have completed the prerequisite and general education courses with grades of "C" or better, and have an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher in those classes and a GPA for Anatomy and Physiology of 2.4 or higher. If applying without all courses completed. Courses not yet completed/currently enrolled in will be calculated into the student’s GPA as a “C” grade.

If accepted for admission, students must provide updated transcripts verifying satisfactory completion of unfinished coursework by the end of the spring semester in which they applied.  All transfer courses must be approved.

1. Apply to College of the Desert

2. Submit official transcripts

3. Meet with COD counselor and request formal transcript evaluation

Transfer Equivalencies

4.Submit application for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Summer 2023 Cohort  application will open 9/1/22

PTA 001 - Introduction to Physical Therapy

This course will introduce students to the field of physical therapy by covering the history and ethics of the profession as they relate to the health care system. The course will cover the development of the team approach in health care delivery, philosophies of rehabilitation, patient relationships, and the psychosocial impact of illness and injury. Also emphasized is the scope of practice of the physical therapist assistant. Course content includes observational experiences in patient care settings. The course will also introduce verbal and nonverbal communication skills utilized in health care. Emphasis will be placed on terminology, format, computer use, reimbursement, interpersonal communication, and legal issues. Upon completion, the student will be able to discuss and demonstrate communication skills necessary for effective interaction with patients, families, and other health care providers.

PTA 002 - Pathophysiology I

This course introduces common pathological conditions with emphasis on the following systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, hematologic, hepatic, immune, integumentary, and lymphatic. The role of physical therapy in the treatment of these conditions is covered as well as interventions commonly performed by the physical therapist assistant. 

PTA 003 - Therapeutic Procedures I

This course provides hand-on instruction of the principles and procedures of physical therapy interventions most commonly utilized in the inpatient setting, such as bed mobility, transfers, and gait training. Upon completion, the student will be able to demonstrate safe and effective delivery of taught procedures and provide an explanation of the rationale for each treatment.

PTA 004 - Therapeutic Procedures II

This course is a continuation of Therapeutic Procedures I. The course is a study on the principles, procedures, and rationale behind physical therapy intervention most commonly performed in the outpatient setting. Upon completion, the student will be able to demonstrate safe and effective delivery of all taught interventions.

PTA 005 - Kinesiology Lab

This lab course allows for the hands-on learning of functional anatomy and kinesiology. Focus will include muscle and joint function, ROM/strength testing, palpation skills and exercise concepts.

PTA 006 - Pathophysiology II

This course provides a more in-depth look at presentation and treatment methods of cardiac and pulmonary conditions and also addresses less common pathophysiology processes not covered in Pathophysiology I. Common impairments seen with each pathology along with the physical therapy assistant's role in addressing these impairments will be covered. The lab portion of the course will emphasize treatment techniques for the cardiac and pulmonary patient

PTA 007 - Neuroscience

This course provides students with an overview of the neuroanatomy of the CNS and PNS, as it relates to treatment of patients with dysfunction in these systems. Emphasis includes structure and function of the nervous system, neurophysiological concepts, growth and development, and neurologic dysfunction. Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to identify and discuss specific neuroanatomical structures, basic functions of the nervous system, concepts of human growth and development, identify
neurological pathologies and test for normal neurologic response and function.

PTA 009 - Functional Anatomy + Kinesiology

This course is a continuation of Introduction to Kinesiology and deals with the biomechanical principles of the cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, upper extremities, and lower extremities of the body. The course includes the kinesiological functions of muscles and muscle groups. Clinical manifestations of muscle dysfunction are covered, as well as techniques for joint measurement. Assessment by manual muscle testing, ROM testing and activities of daily living are presented.

PTA 010 - Physical Therapy Issues and Trends

The course will introduce current trends and issues in the physical therapy field. Emphasis will be placed on practice issues and psychosocial aspects of illness and cultural diversity, with discussion on future of physical therapy and advocacy.

PTA 011 - Therapeutic Procedures III

This course is a continuation of study of the principles and procedures of therapeutic Physical Therapy intervention, with emphasis placed on specialized physical therapy interventions and procedure for special populations. Students will learn how to instruct and prepare the patient to utilize this specialized equipment. Problem solving will be utilized in assisting students to apply standardized practices to meet individual patient needs.

PTA 012 - Clinical Fieldwork I

This is the first full-time clinical assignment in the PTA program in which students perform delegated patient care responsibilities in a physical therapy clinical setting, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Students will practice the application of physical therapy procedures according to the setting such as the acute, sub-acute, outpatient, skilled nursing, or other type of physical therapy/rehabilitation clinical facility. Facility will be assigned by program faculty.

PTA 013 - Clinical Fieldwork II

This is the second full-time clinical assignment in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program in which students perform delegated patient care responsibilities in a physical therapy clinical setting, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
Students will practice application of physical therapy procedures according to the setting such as the acute, sub-acute, outpatient, skilled nursing, or other type of physical therapy/rehabilitation clinical facility. Facility will be assigned by program faculty.

PTA 014 - Physical Therapist Assistant Seminar

This course is a capstone of the Physical Therapist Program. It is a study of the issues and trends in physical therapy practice. Emphasis is placed on issues such as licensure, job skills, board exam reviews, practitioners' roles, legal and ethical issues. Upon
completion the student will have the necessary skills to transition from student to practitioner

Dr. Matthew Wilson PT, DPT - Program Director

mawilson@collegeofthedesert.edu 

(760)565-4839

Ben Fitzpatrick PT, MSPT, M.Ed - Clinical Education Coordinator

bkfitzpatrick@collegeofthedesert.edu

 

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703.706.3245;  accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.  
College of the Desert is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage,  
on 12/01/2022. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation  status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the technical phase of the  program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been  achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward  accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation. 

The program is designed to be completed in two years. First year students will complete prerequisites and general education class. This year can be completed is the time frame that fits the students needs. But once accepted into the technical phase, this phase must be completed as a cohort over a one year period, Summer, Fall and Spring Semester.

The technical phase of the program is when the student will take all of the PTA course work and complete there clinical internships, this phase the students must agree to be a full time student and complete as one cohort.

Students need to have completed their anatomy and physiology course work within the past 7 years. There is no time frame for the other course work.

Yes,  but all course work needs to be completed and awarded a grade prior to being able to start the technical phase of the PTA program.

Yes, as long as the courses are equivalent. The number of units and course description should be compared. 

Transfer Equivalencies

 

Advisors:

Dr. Matthew Wilson PT, DPT

Program Director 

mawilson@collegeofthedesert.edu 

Ben Fitzpatrick PT, MSPT, MEd

Clinical Education Coordinator

bkfitzpatrick@collegeofthedesert.edu 

Accreditation:

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703.706.3245;  accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.  


College of the Desert is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist assistant education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage,  
on 12/01/2022. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation  status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the technical phase of the  program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been  achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward  accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.