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.

Contact your Academic Advisors at You can also call the Academic Advising Referral Center at (541) 463-3800 for advisors' locations and availability. The LCC Center for Accessible Resources staff are available for discussion and planning for reasonable accommodations in meeting program and degree requirements.

Explore the resources below to learn more about the physical, mental and emotional demands of physical therapy careers:

Expectations for Clinical Internship Readiness

Our agreements with clinical internship sites require all students complete a criminal background check and drug and alcohol screen, complete required immunizations, show proof of immunity to certain diseases, and proof of health insurance prior to starting any clinical education experience. Evidence of any prior criminal history, or drug or alcohol use, may affect students’ ability to start or complete program-required clinical internship experiences. Students with any history of criminal activity, or concerns about drug screen outcomes, are encouraged to contact program advising,, or Beth Thorpe, ACCE,

Students may be placed in internships more than 90 miles from the main college campus in order to complete program requirements for graduation. Outside employment or other individual student commitments shall not prohibit placement at a clinical internship outside of a student’s local residence area.

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.

Expectations for Computer, Hands-On, and Collaborative Learning

Our successful students come to the program prepared with:

  • good reading, time management and study skills
  • a strong knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and general physics
  • abilities to complete web-based learning activities and additional computer skills, such as accessing website hyperlinks, downloading and uploading electronic files, formatting documents using some form of word processing, and creating PDFs
  • physical, mental and emotional capacity to sit, stand, lift, carry, bend, listen, coach, encourage, and give and accept constructive feedback

Our students who persist and graduate the program:

  • Spend an average of 32+ hours to complete program-related assignments and activities, including using a computer, attending peer study groups, participating in online office hours and discussions, and attending lab practice and lab courses
  • Seek accommodations with Center for Accessible Resources as needed to meet program learning outcomes
  • Connect with personnel and resources (e.g., advising, library, tutoring, Women’s Center, Health Clinic, Veteran’s Services) to plan a course for student success
  • Schedule and prepare for the costs associated with meeting program clinical education requirements
  • Demonstrate personal accountability through collaboration and active problem-solving with faculty and staff.