Physical Therapist Assistant - A.A.S.
SUNY Broome’s Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program graduated its first class in 1989. The PTA program prepares students to carry out a planned patient care program under the supervision of a Physical Therapist (PT) in a variety of healthcare settings.
Interventions provided by a PTA include: exercises for increasing strength, endurance, coordination and range of motion; the use of heat, cold, electricity, sound and water to relieve pain and stimulate muscle activity; instruction in activities of daily living; and the use of assistive devices such as walkers, crutches and wheelchairs.
A significant part of this program includes on-site clinical experiences in which the student practices physical therapy skills under the supervision of a PTA or PT. Upon successful completion of the PTA curriculum, students graduate with an Associate in Applied Science degree. They are then eligible to take a National Licensing Examination and apply for certification as a physical therapist assistant.
As a PTA you will be part of the PT profession. Service to the community is a large part of your commitment to the profession. To prepare you for this commitment, you will be expected to perform a minimum number of volunteer clinical hours prior to enrollment in PTA courses. These hours will be considered service learning hours. While providing service to the community through volunteering, you are asked to keep a journal of your experience and learning opportunities.
Reflect in your journal on various conditions and illnesses you observe, how hospital personnel interact, how PT provides a service to the public, what the role of the PTA is, how important is communication, what is the hospital clinic's mission. How do they achieve this mission? As a volunteer, how did you help them meet their mission, etc.? You must maintain confidentiality in all of your entries.
If you have already worked in such a facility you may have this requirement waived but you will need to discuss it with the Chairperson of the program first for this determination. If you cannot complete the hours prior to class you may request a waiver for extended time from the program chairperson. Waivers will only be granted for extraordinary circumstances.
The following are some program outcome measures for the Physical Therapist Assistant.
- Graduation rate (2017 – 2018): 90.75%
- Licensure examination pass rate (average of 2017-2018): 85.35%
- Employment Rate (2016): 100%
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Annual Pass Rates for the PTA Licensing Exam:
- 2014 - 90.9
- 2015 - 77.8
- 2016 - 95.7
This program is not designed as a transfer program to an upper-division Physical Therapy program leading to the master's degree or doctorate program. However, students can CONTINUE their education, earn a bachelors degree and then apply to an upper division PT program. SUNY Broome Community College has an articulation agreement with Excelsior College to assist the student in bridging the gap to a bachelor's degree. If you would like to discuss options for continuing in the career of physical therapy, please contact the department chairperson.