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Physical Therapist Assistant

A plus (+) denotes a C+ is required to progress.

PTA100 Fundamentals of Physical Therapy+ 3 Credits
This course teaches the concepts and scope of physical therapy and its relationship to
other health care professions. The role the physical therapist, physical therapist assistant,
and the physical therapy aide are discussed with emphasis on supervisory relationship,
professionalism, and communication. Conditions treated and procedures used are covered.
Cultural diversity and socioeconomic differences will also be discussed. Additionally, the
student is introduced to proper documentation in a patient’s chart. Student will develop
appropriate communication skills within the healthcare field. This course serves as a
foundation for all consecutive PTA courses in preparation for the National Therapy Exam.
Terms Offered: WI, SU

PTA155 Physical Therapist Assistant Procedures+ 4 Credits
This course covers many of the basic duties of the physical therapist assistant. HIPAA
regulations and confidentiality in the workplace will be presented. Students will also learn
about finance as related to healthcare, documentation, transfers, gait sequence, assistive
devices, gait training, prosthetic devices and training, introduction to goniometry, and
massage. Emphasis will be placed on practical application, skill development and effective
communication techniques. Successful completion of competency examinations in an ethical,
safe, and effective manner is required for the course. Through the competency examinations,
students will perform appropriate measurement and assessment techniques, demonstrate
good clinical judgment, and display a professional attitude.
Prerequisite: PTA100
Terms Offered: SP, FL

PTA160 Pathophysiology for PTA I+ 3 Credits
This course introduces pathology and disease by investigating the etiology, pathophysiology,
and clinical manifestation of a wide variety of diseases affecting the various body systems
of the human body specifically the Integumentary, Nervous System, GI, Immune, and
Reproductive. Diagnostic procedures and treatments for various disorders will be discussed
as well as pharmaceuticals.
Prerequisite: ALH120
Terms Offered: SP, FL

PTA235 Modalities+ 4 Credits
This course provides the student with an understanding of the basic physical therapy
modalities, including indications/contraindications, patient preparation, and documentation.
Emphasis will be placed on practical application, skill development and effective
communication skills. Successful completion of competency evaluations in a safe, ethical and
effective manner is required for the course. Through the competency examinations, students
will perform appropriate measurement and assessment techniques, demonstrate good clinical
judgment, and display a professional attitude.
Prerequisites: ALH130 and PTA155
Terms Offered: WI, SU

PTA245 Applied Kinesiology+ 4 Credits
This course provides the student with an in-depth study of the structure and function of the
musculoskeletal system. The student will learn normal joint structure and function, muscle
function specific to each joint, and abnormal joint function. The laboratory portion of this
course concentrates on the principles of physical joint assessment including surface anatomy
palpation, a review of goniometry, and instruction in manual muscle testing. Emphasis will be
placed on practical application, skill development, and effective communication techniques.
Successful completion of competency examinations in an ethical, safe, and effective manner
is required for this course. Through the competency examinations students will perform
appropriate measurement and assessment techniques, demonstrate good clinical judgment,
and display a professional attitude.
Prerequisites: ALH130 and PTA155
Terms Offered: WI, SU

PTA255 Therapeutic Exercise+ 4 Credits
This course provides to the physical therapist assistant student an understanding of the basic
principles of therapeutic exercise including the use of exercise equipment, development of
skill in the application and instruction of exercise, and the indications, contraindications, and
precautions for exercise prescription. This course also covers exercise and manual techniques
for pulmonary physical therapy, the obstetric patient, and treatment of lymphedema.
Emphasis will be placed on practical application, skill development, and effective
communication techniques. Successful completion of competency examinations in an ethical,
safe, and effective manner is required for this course. Through the competency examinations
students will perform appropriate measurement and assessment techniques, demonstrate
good clinical judgment, and display a professional attitude.
Prerequisites: PTA235 and PTA245
Terms Offered: SP, FL

PTA260 Pathophysiology for Physical Therapist Assistant II+ 3 Credits
This course introduces pathology and disease by investigating the etiology, pathophysiology,
and clinical manifestation of a wide variety of diseases affecting the various body systems of
the human body including Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Endocrine, Urinary, and Hemopoietic
and Lymphatic systems. Diagnostic procedures and treatments for various disorders as well
as pharmaceuticals will be discussed.
Prerequisites: ALH130 and PTA160
Terms Offered: WI, SU

PTA265 Neurological Rehabilitation+ 4 Credits
This is a comprehensive course that provides the physical therapist assistant student
with an understanding of the basic principles of neurological rehabilitation of acute and
chronic conditions. This course will teach students how to integrate their understanding
of pathophysiology, fundamental principles of patient care procedures, kinesiology, and
therapeutic exercise, and apply them to patients with neurological diseases and injuries.
This course will teach students how to devise proper patient instruction and application of
specific neurological treatment techniques while demonstrating an understanding of the
Physical Therapist Assistant’s role including the responsibilities, privileges and limitations of
the position. Emphasis will be placed on practical application, skill development, and effective
communication techniques. Successful completion of competency examinations in an ethical,
safe, and effective manner is required for this course. Through the competency examinations
students will perform appropriate measurement and assessment techniques, demonstrate
good clinical judgment, and display a professional attitude.
Prerequisites: PTA260, and/or concurrent with PTA255
Terms Offered: SP, FL

PTA298 Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Practice 1 Credit
Clinical Practice is the initial field experience for physical therapist assistant students. This
course affords students the opportunity to participate in the daily workings of a physical
therapy clinic and better understand the roles and duties of physical therapists and physical
therapist assistants. Students will be involved in patient care, which is performed under
the direct supervision of a physical therapist, and requires that students have a sound
understanding of the principles of physical therapy and a basic skill level for the procedures
performed by a physical therapist assistant. Students will perform appropriate measurements
and assessments, communicate effectively and display a professional attitude while on
Clinical Practice.
Prerequisites: PTA235 and PTA245
Terms Offered: WI, SU

PTA299 Internship for Physical Therapist Assistant 8 Credits
The internship experience at Central Penn allows students to apply the knowledge and skills
learned in the classroom to the working environment. This experience is the capstone for
all PTA classes and will prepare students for the National Physical Therapy Exam. Students
will deliver physical therapy services in an ethical, safe and effective manner as evidenced
by good clinical judgment. Students will also demonstrate a professional attitude and
communicate effectively with members of the healthcare field.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses and requirements of the Physical
Therapist Assistant program and to have passed all required competency tests and STS300
Job Pursuit Seminar.
Terms Offered: SP, FL

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