Using the very latest in distance learning technology, our innovative two-year program offers you a highly stimulating learning environment from which to launch a successful career in physical therapy. As a student, you will learn to carry out the primary responsibilities of an entry-level PTA, such as:
- Administering physical agents to alleviate the patent's presenting symptoms
- Instructing the patient in specialized therapeutic exercise programs designed to restore functional abilities
- Directing the patient on the use and care of artificial limbs, braces, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs and other devices
- Recording information on patient interventions/progress and reporting the findings to the physical therapist
Faculty and instructors of the PTA Program enrich your education at Broward College by:
- Providing quality instruction and effective hands-on tutorials
- Embracing new technologies and techniques that are passed on to you
Classes focus on helping you cultivate competency in technical skills with a combination of class lecture, labs and off-site clinical study. All courses are taught in the Health Sciences Building on the North Campus, as well as on the Thomas Edison Campus of Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers, Florida via two-way audio and video interaction.
The program is offered on a full-time basis with classes held during the daytime hours. Only 36 seats are available in Broward College, and 16 seats at the Thomas Edison Campus of Florida SouthWestern State College.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
confirms good news for future graduates of BC's Physical Therapist Assistant Program since physical therapy is one of the country's fastest growing healthcare occupations. Here in Florida, home of one of the country's largest elderly populations, the long-term outlook is favorable for accelerating demand for physical therapist assistants. Employment is expected to grow much faster than average with a 45 percent increase in job opportunities for graduates of a PTA program and a salary range from $31,070 to $68,820.
Our graduates consistently exceed the national and state average pass rate on the licensure exam for physical therapist assistants. Many of them are offered jobs at the clinics they were assigned for their practicum. In addition, graduates have found work in:
- Private clinics
- Nursing homes
- Rehabilitation centers
- Public health agencies
- Home health agencies
After your career is underway, you can further develop expertise in specialized areas such as sports medicine, pediatrics or geriatrics right here at Broward College. Continuing education courses are available to enhance your skill set. In addition, PT Assistants may secure faculty positions in state colleges or private institutions as instructors in PT Assistant programs. They may even qualify for the position of a program director or department head of a PTA program if they have advanced their education. In addition, the American Physical Therapy Association offers PTAs the opportunity to pursue a Certificate of Advanced Proficiency in a variety of practice areas.
If you’re interested in the field of physical therapist assisting, you should:
Be comfortable with a job that requires physical activity
Have a background in the sciences (biology, anatomy, etc.)
Possess a desire to work in an active, progressive occupation
Be able to interact well with a variety of people and cultures
Have a general interest in the prevention of disease and the maintenance and restoration of the quality of life
PTA Job Demands
Technical Performance Standards
Certain abilities are considered essential for student success relative to achieving the level of competency required for graduation. Potential students should carefully review the standards as detailed and are urged to inquire if clarification is needed on any of the standards.
Data Collection Standards
Tactile ability sufficient for collection and assessment of data
Ability to adjust settings on equipment
Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health care needs
Olfactory ability sufficient for patient/client assessment
Visual ability sufficient for assessing and observing the patient/client and environment
Possess sufficient communication skills to interact effectively with others - sensitive to individual and cultural differences
Ability to express self verbally in a language that will be understood by a majority of patients/clients
Ability to explain interventions, provide patient/client education, and assess/relate patient/client response to interventions
Possess the ability to recognize, interpret and respond to non-verbal cues
Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective care
Standing and walking for extended periods of time and physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room, to maneuver in patient rooms and other small areas
The motor skills of stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, and handling
Ability to perform medium work (defined as lifting 60 pound maximum with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 30 pounds)
Ability to walk with good balance and to resist challenge while walking
Fine motor coordination sufficient to calibrate and use equipment
Ability to perform therapeutic interventions and safely utilize equipment that requires sensory awareness, ability to perform palpation, and fine motor coordination
Independent mobility including transportation to/from campus and clinical practicums
Stamina to participate in physical activity over prolonged periods of time
Intellectual and Conceptual Standards
Ability to assimilate, within a reasonable amount of time, large amounts of complex, technical and detailed information from a variety of sources
Ability to identify cause-effect relationship in order to make judgments and set priorities in clinical situations
Recognize physiological changes in patient/client status and act appropriately
Ability to function during stressful situations
Ability to prioritize multiple tasks, integrate information and make decisions promptly
Behavioral and Social Standards
Possess sufficient interpersonal skills to establish meaningful and effective rapport with individuals from a variety of different social, emotional, economic, cultural, ethnic, religious and intellectual backgrounds as well as within all age groups
Appreciate and respect patient/family confidentiality
Ability to cope with heavy workload schedule and patient demands
Function effectively during periods of high stress
Accept responsibility for own behavior
Engage in self-assessment activities which includes identification of learning needs
Exhibit a respect for truth and a commitment to honesty in all didactic and clinical pursuits
Adhere to ethical and legal guidelines established by applicable national organizations and governmental agencies
Abide by all institutional regulations
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Broward College and its Florida SouthWestern State College expansion site are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty members and adjuncts include physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who have graduated from accredited physical therapy programs.
The PTA Program takes five semesters to complete 74 credits, and is considered a two-year program for full-time students. General education courses (any course without a PHT prefix) are taught at varied times (days, evenings, weekends) at all campus locations. All PHT courses are offered during the day only. Classes are held at North Campus for the Broward College (BC) site and at the Thomas Edison Campus for the Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) site.
Lectures are delivered to students at BC and FSW via distance learning technology and are broadcast in real time so that all sites participate in lecture classes together. The individual sites manage lab sessions. Clinical practicums begin in the second semester of the first year of the program. Classes in the PTA Program include:
Therapeutic procedures and labs
Practicums in hospitals and clinics
Musculoskeletal, pathological and neurological deficits
In order to progress through the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, you must successfully achieve all affective, cognitive, and psychomotor objectives, achieve a grade of “C” or above in all program courses, a grade of “S” in all clinical practicums, and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher.
A state and national licensing examination is required upon completion of the two-year program. Upon successful completion of these exams, you will then be eligible to practice as a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant.
We enjoy hearing from all of our former students. Stay in contact with us to remain informed about the program, profession, and opportunities available to alumni and PTA graduates.
Do you have the desire to teach and mentor? We encourage you to serve as a Clinical Instructor in the clinical education component of our curriculum. Talk to the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education Elizabeth Ordonez
or Clinical Liaison Cris Borbor
today to get started.
Get to know the industry and market for physical therapist assistants. Browse the info on the following sites for a closer look at the PTA profession.
American Physical Therapy Association
Transforming students’ lives and enriching our diverse community through academic excellence, innovation, and meaningful career opportunities.
The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant program is to prepare competent, ethical and culturally sensitive entry-level PT Assistants who are capable of functioning in an ever-changing health care delivery system secondary to being dedicated to lifelong learning. Student success is achieved by developing informed and creative students capable of contributing to a knowledge- and service-based global society. The program provides learner-centered technical education to all segments of the community and is committed to celebrating diversity and inclusion by empowering and engaging students, faculty and staff.
The program is committed to accomplishing its mission through the use of effective and diverse instructional methods that encompass both traditional as well as technology-based strategies (e-learning including online courses, video conferencing, etc.).
Broward College's innovative program will challenge and train you to excel in this ever-evolving, always demanding field.
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Related Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Within the process of patient/client management established by the Physical Therapist, adjust or withhold intervention based on patient/client status as determined through observation, data collection and interpretive processes. Process the requisite knowledge to identify the situation, weigh alternatives, and select appropriate responses within the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist.
- Use information from data collection to progress patient/client interventions within the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist, and reports changes to the supervising Physical Therapist.
- Complete thorough, accurate, logical, concise, timely, and legible documentation that follows guidelines and specific documentation formats required by state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies.
- Communicate verbally and non-verbally with the patient/client, the Physical Therapist, health care delivery personnel, and others in an effective, appropriate and capable manner.
- Implement delegated interventions to achieve the short and long term goals and outcomes identified in the plan of care.
- Perform safe interventions competently based on the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist so as to minimize risk to the patient/client, self, and others.
- Implement the delegated interventions within the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist, monitor the patient/client response, and responds accordingly.
- Provide patient/client-related instruction to patient/clients, family members, and caregivers to achieve patient/client outcomes based on the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist.