Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) are educated, skilled healthcare workers who work under the supervision of a Physical Therapist (PT). PTAs assist in implementing physical therapy interventions in accordance with an established plan of care. Physical Therapist Assistants perform various treatment procedures which may involve the therapeutic use of water, massage, ultrasound and the thermal properties of light and electricity to promote healing and relieve pain. The assistant also implements exercise programs designed for the restoration of strength, endurance, coordination, relaxation and range of motion.
What You’ll Learn
The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Mountwest is designed to facilitate problem-solving, critical thinking, group interaction and improved self-assessment skills. The program is designed in a 1+1 curricular format. The first year’s general prerequisite courses total 31 credit hours, focusing on general studies. Students also receive foundational courses in functional human and neuroanatomy.
Through selective admissions, students are admitted into the second year of the program. This year consists of Physical Therapist Assistant technical education courses. Second-year courses include a comprehensive curriculum in adult, orthopedic, pediatric and spinal cord rehabilitation. Students will be required to complete 720 hours of full-time clinical education. The costs of clinical education (travel, housing, incidentals) are the responsibility of the student. See the current advising sheet for more details.
Credits Required: 76 hours
Credential Earned: Associate of Applied Science
Employment of Physical Therapist Assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average. Physical Therapist Assistants will find employment opportunities in home health care settings, rehabilitation hospitals, nursing homes, acute care hospitals, skilled nursing unites and outpatient departments.
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• To enhance the availability of physical therapy services throughout West Virginia with particular emphasis in meeting the need for such personnel in rural areas of the state;
• To promote the involvement of educational institutions and health care providers throughout the state in addressing physical therapy education and training needs in an efficient manner;
• Assist students in seeking employment before and after graduation;
• Provide academic and clinical settings which stimulate student learning;
• Meet or exceed all criteria and standards defined by the West Virginia Department of Education and accrediting agencies;
• Update curriculum as indicated by students, faculty, administrators, community and PT/PTA Professionals;
• Ensure that equal educational opportunities are available for all students regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability or marital status;
• Maintain state of the art equipment and laboratory facilities.