Essential Abilities

Physical Therapist Assistant

Essential Abilities

Physical therapy is a physical profession. Students should be prepared to stand, bend, lift and carry, push and pull, and protect the safety of self and others during simulated practice and supervised direct patient care. Students who have questions about the physical, mental, and emotional demands of actively participating in the program (on-line, lab, and internships) and working in the field are encouraged to watch a video describing essential abilities by the U.S. Department of Labor and meet with the Center for Accessible Resources for discussion and planning.

Expectations for Computer, Hands-On, and Collaborative Learning

Our successful students come to the program prepared with:

  • an authentic goal to work effectively in physical therapy as a Physical Therapist Assistant
  • good reading, time management and study skills
  • a strong knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and general physics
  • computer skills, such as accessing website hyperlinks, downloading and uploading electronic files, formatting documents using some form of word processing, and creating PDFs
  • a willingness to effectively collaborate with peers and faculty, including providing and receiving constructive feedback in person and in writing

Our students who persist and graduate the program:

  • Spend an average of 32+ hours a week completing course-related assignments and activities
  • Form and attend regular study groups with peers
  • Schedule and prepare for the costs associated with meeting program clinical education requirements
  • Attend most optional activities to support success (open lab, office hours, review session, optional presentations, etc.)
  • Seek accommodations with Center for Accessible Resources as needed to meet program learning outcomes
  • Connect with Student Services personnel and resources (e.g., library, tutoring, Gender Equity Center, Health Clinic, Veteran's Services) to plan a course for student success
  • Communicate suggestions, questions, and concerns as they arise to program faculty and staff
  • Collaborate with faculty and staff to meet program standards through active problem-solving and personal accountability

Expectations for Clinical Internship Readiness

Our agreements with internship sites require students complete a criminal background check and drug and alcohol screen. If you have concerns about barriers that may influence your ability to be eligible for an internship, you should contact the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education, Beth Thorpe before you apply.

Students must complete required immunizations, show proof of immunity to certain diseases and proof of health insurance to participate in clinical internships.

Students may have to travel to more than 90 miles from the main college campus in order to complete these program requirements for graduation. There are no accommodations for outside employment or other individual student commitments which are outside of program requirements.

Explore the resources below to learn more about the work environment and workplace demands: