Is This the Right Career for You?
- Would you find caring directly for patients fulfilling?
PTAs work directly with their own caseload of patients under the supervision of a physical therapist.
- Would you like to help patients regain or improve physical function?
Typically, patients who seek physical therapy are motivated to improve and gain back their functional independence.
- Are you interested in learning about the science of human motion and mobility?
Courses in the Physical Therapist Assistant programs include physics, biology, and kinesiology- the study of muscles and muscle movement. The science of Physical Therapy applies physical principles to human function to treat injury and disease. The use of heat, light, water, electricity, manual therapy and exercise are examples of patient interventions.
- Would you like a health career that involves physical activity as part of the job?
The Physical Therapist assistant will provide intervention to many patients each day. Lifting, moving, and walking with patients are everyday requirements.
- Are you interested in a career in a constantly changing and active career?
As a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), you will work with many patients each day. Each patient has individual goals and needs and the PTA helps each patient meet his or her goals.
If you have answered yes to several of these questions, this career may be right for you.
If you think that this is the career for you, the first step is application to the program. You can apply online through the Admissions Office or by telephone at +1 (607) 778-5001.
More information on Careers in the PTA field
The PTA program prepares students to carry out a planned patient care program under the supervision of a Physical Therapist (PT) as an entry-level Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) in a variety of health-care 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 wheel chairs. 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.
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. Broome Community College has an articulation agreement with Excelsior College and Bellevue University 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.
Prerequisite Requirements for the PTA Program:
- Level 3 Math
- Biology – Regents or equivalent – 74 min. grade
- Chemistry – Regents or equivalent – 74 min. grade
- 50 hours volunteer or service learning work in a hospital setting where physical therapy is practiced (must be met prior to enrolling in PTA classes). Good health and physical condition to meet job demands.
The volunteer/service learning requirement exists in one form or another in all PTA and PT programs and is probably the most important thing you should undertake immediately. This will enable you to make an informed decision about your career choice. You will also be required to have CPR Certification at the end of the spring semester of your freshman year. This certification must be the professional version for health care workers and cover the time you will be on your clinical affiliations.
The Physical Therapist Assistant program at SUNY Broome participates in a competitive admissions process and admits 26 students/year in the fall semester. Get more information and deadlines.
If you have a need to meet prerequisite requirements in math, biology or chemistry you may take the appropriate developmental courses as a Health Studies student. They are BIO (biology) 090, CHM (chemistry) 120, and MAT (math) depending upon your placement test results.
Please note the minimum grade requirement for the high school prerequisite courses and review your high school transcript to determine if you have met the minimum criteria.
For specific information please reference the college catalog.
Essential Functions/Technical Standards
Physical Therapist Assistant Student Essential Functions
The Essential Functions are the nonacademic requirements of each Program. They correspond to the physical, psychological, and professional demands required of a Physical Therapist Assistant. These practitioners perform procedures that impact patient care and safety. For this reason, although SUNY Broome Community College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution, it is important that every applicant meets certain technical standards (essential functions) to be able to engage in training activities that will not endanger students, faculty or patients.
The minimum goal or expectation of the program is to prepare competent entry-level Physical Therapist Assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.
With appropriate accommodations if needed, all students must be able to perform activities such as those listed below.
- Ability to efficiently implement the skills required in performing physical therapy functions using sufficient gross motor coordination and strength.
- Lift 1/3 of your body weight.
- Help in lifting patients who may be comatose, paralyzed, or otherwise incapacitated.
- Lift, move, and push heavy equipment, i.e. Hoyer lift, stretchers etc.
- Able to ambulate and safely guard an incapacitated patient to prevent falls.
- Able to move patient, and align body parts.
- Ability to perform delicate manipulations that require good eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.
- Operate computers.
- Do such tasks as gloving and gowning.
- Operate controls on machinery.
- Ability to write legibly and correctly.
- Ability to read typewritten text and patient data from a computer screen, with or without corrective devices.
- Ability to communicate orally and in writing instructions and directions to patients and to and from other health care personnel.
- Ability to navigate efficiently within the classroom, hospital and clinic corridors, passageways, and doorway at a pace consistent with that of other employees.
- Ability to speak, to hear, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, perceive nonverbal communication, describe changes in mood, activity and posture.
- Ability to react quickly in emergency situations, to distress sounds, visual distress cues, emergency alarms, and vital sign assessment equipment.
- Ability to perform accurately and quickly even under stressful conditions and adapt to changing situations.
- Ability to exercise independent judgment and think logically in the performance of one’s duties.
- Ability to organize and assume responsibility for one’s work.
- Ability to identify behaviors that would endanger a person’s safety and intervene quickly in a crisis situation with an appropriate solution.
- Ability to react quickly, both mentally and physically.
- Ability to remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency situations.
- Ability to communicate in the English language in a professional, positive, tactful manner with patients and their family members, physicians, nurses, other health care and non-health care employees.
- Ability to maintain patient confidentiality and exercise ethical judgment, integrity, honesty, dependability, and accountability in the performance of one’s professional responsibilities.
- Ability to work carefully while maintaining efficiency and organization.
- Ability to exercise critical thinking skills to solve problems.
- Ability to follow written or verbal directions to perform tasks or procedures.
- Ability to project a well-groomed, neat appearance and maintain cleanliness and personal grooming consistent with close personal contact.
- Ability to work as a member of a team.
- Exhibit social skills appropriate to professional interactions.
PTA Program Financial Fact Sheet (pdf)
Program Specific Expenses
The PTA program prepares you to take the state licensure exam. The exam and preparation for the exam requires students to pay additional expenses exclusive to the program. These include:
|Books (including class manuals)||Approx. $500.00/semester|
|Limited permit Fee||$50.00|
|Application for State Boards||$485.00|
|Prometric Fee (where you take exam)||$70.00|
|EHRGO.com (dependent on place of purchase)||$45/12 week subscription|
Note: These prices are subject to change
*These fees are as of June 18, 2019