Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Program Admission

Review the Health Careers Admissions Process and follow the requirements below.

Admission Requirements

Each of the following requirements MUST be completed to be considered qualified and placed on the Physical Therapist Assistant qualified list.

  • Maintain GPA (2.80 or higher)
  • Accuplacer Next Gen (255+) Reading Score
  • Eligible for placement into ENG 131
  • Eligible for placement into MATH 110
  • BIO 233 or equivalent with a B- grade or better (within 5 years of program admission)
  • AH 100 or equivalent with a B- grade or better
  • 20 hours or more observation in a physical therapy setting observing a PTA at work with letter of confirmation from the supervisory PT or PTA.

To become qualified, you must complete all admission requirements and contact the Student Success Navigator or Health Careers Academic Adviser. Qualified students are formally admitted to the program once per year, in the fall semester, on a first-qualified first-admitted basis. Final approval to enroll in the program comes from the Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director.

Required Support Courses

Students may choose to complete as many of the following support courses prior to entering the program. These courses are a part of the PTA Program.

Summary Job Profile

The following is a description of the functional abilities required of a student in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Henry Ford College. A student must be able to perform these tasks with or without “reasonable accommodation”, as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. A student requiring accommodation in order to perform any of these tasks should contact Assisted Learning Services.

Job Summary

Under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist, the Physical Therapist Assistant carries out treatment plans designed to relive pain, promote healing and improve functional ability. Treatments performed may include specialized exercise programs, gait related activities, electrical stimulation techniques and the application of modalities using heat, cold, light or electromagnetic radiation. The Physical Therapist Assistant is expected to exercise professional judgment and decision making in the performance and delivery of physical therapy care within the scope of their practice.

Physical & Mental Effort

  1. Strength: Requires the ability to frequently push/pull and lift objects more than 100 lbs. as in transferring patients.

  2. Manual Dexterity: Requires the ability to constantly perform moderately difficult manipulative skills, such as positioning a patient, applying electrodes, manipulating dials and knobs and equipment, etc. and to frequently perform difficult manipulative skills such as wound care, joint measurements with a goniometer, etc.

  3. Coordination: Requires constant performance of gross body coordination such as walking, standing, bending and speech. The ability to constantly perform tasks which require eye-hand coordination such as measurements, use of equipment, passive exercise, etc. You must have the ability to frequently perform tasks that require arm-hand steadiness as in taking pulses and application of certain modalities.

  4. Mobility/Endurance: In the classroom, the student is constantly required to sit for prolonged periods. In the laboratory and/or clinic, the student is frequently required to remain in uncomfortable positions such as bending over beds.

  5. Hearing: Must be constantly able to distinguish various sounds as in oral communications, blood pressure and patient call bells.

  6. Visual Discrimination: Constantly required to see objects closely as in reading instrument dials, thermometers, tape measures, goniometers, patient ID bands. Must be able to determine changes in patient’s physiologic status through visual observation of changes in patient’s coloring etc. and be able to make assessments of functional abilities by observing the patient perform activities both at a distance and closely. Occasionally, you will be required to discriminate colors as in colors of electrical wires, reading warning lights, etc.

  7. Concentration: Must be constantly able to concentrate on moderate to fine detail with constant interruption.

  8. Attention Span: Constantly needs to be able to attend to tasks/functions for 45-60 minutes at a time. Frequently attends to multiple tasks/functions at the same time.

  9. Conceptualization: Frequently needs to be able to understand and relate to the theories behind several related concepts.

  10. Memory: Requires ability to constantly remember multiple tasks/assignments given to self and others over long periods of time.

  11. Communication & Interpersonal Skills: Convey information through verbal and nonverbal communication and written word. Communicate in a one-on-one setting as well as in groups. Interact effectively and appropriately with instructors, healthcare providers, peers, patients, and family to provide effective and efficient patient care.

Environmental & Working Conditions

Frequently exposed to blood, body tissue or fluids, high or low temperatures, dust, and high humidity. May be frequently exposed to other hazardous waste materials or chemicals.