Course Number and Title: PTA 100 - Introduction to PTA
In this course, students learn the profession of physical therapy, including history, role utilization, professional organization, and standards and ethics of practice. Basic patient care procedures, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and documentation are covered.
PTA Student Handbook
- Identify the components of professional behavior as applied in the classroom. (CCC 3, 4; PGC 6)
- Discuss the background and development of physical therapy as a component of healthcare. (CCC 4; PGC 1)
- Compare and contrast healthcare provider roles in physical therapy. (CCC 4; PGC 1)
- Examine legal and ethical issues in the practice of physical therapy. (CCC 4; PGC 1)
- Discuss the role of personal and professional values in becoming an effective healthcare provider. (CCC 3, 4; PGC 6, 8)
- Discuss the skills needed for effective interaction with people from diverse backgrounds. (CCC 1, 3, 4; PGC 6, 8)
- Perform patient care skills related to vital signs, infection control, and emergency care. (CCC 2, 4; PGC 1, 2, 3, 5)
- Perform patient care documentation skills. (CCC 1; PGC 4)
See Core Curriculum Competencies and Program Graduate Competencies at the end of the syllabus. CCPOs are linked to every competency they develop.
Upon completion of this course, the student will:
- Identify the components of professional behavior as applied in the classroom.
- Identify and perform professional behaviors in the classroom setting.
- Use information literacy skills to support classroom learning.
- Recognize professional behaviors during classroom presentations.
- Discuss the background and development of physical therapy as a component of healthcare.
- Discuss the evolution of physical therapy education and its current status.
- Locate and search the professional organizations associated with the practice of physical therapy.
- Discuss organizational planning and operation of various practice structures available in physical therapy.
- Give examples of patient care interventions that are practiced in physical therapy.
- Recognize basic and instrumental activities of daily living to be used as treatment interventions.
- Identify standardized questionnaires used in a variety of healthcare environments.
- Discuss via oral presentation the benefits of physical therapy and health to the general public.
- Identify the role of the Guide to Physical Therapy Practice in the profession of physical therapy.
- Compare and contrast healthcare provider roles in physical therapy.
- Define the role of the physical therapist.
- Explain the role of the physical therapist assistant in physical therapy practice.
- Differentiate among the roles, duties, and responsibilities of a licensed physical therapist, licensed physical therapist assistant, and non-licensed personnel.
- Describe the role of the various allied healthcare providers in the practice of physical therapy.
- Develop an awareness of social responsibility, including the role of participation in community and service organization activities.
- Examine legal and ethical issues in the practice of physical therapy.
- Examine the legal structure for the practice of physical therapy.
- Identify the components of the physical therapy law in the State of Delaware and how they affect the profession.
- Examine the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant.
- Illustrate the problem solving necessary to resolve ethical situations.
- Identify behavior patterns consistent with professional association guidelines for physical therapy.
- Examine the purpose of Patient’s Rights, and relate how a healthcare provider influences those rights.
- Discuss all aspects of confidentiality, including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations as they relate to physical therapy.
- Compare major insurance carriers and their requirements for reimbursement.
- Describe vulnerable patient populations that may be encountered in physical therapy.
- Discuss authorities that could be notified/involved if abuse is suspected.
- Describe possible scenarios where fraud may occur with regard to payment for physical.
- Discuss authorities that could be notified/involved if fraud is suspected.
- Discuss the role of personal and professional values in becoming an effective healthcare provider.
- Discuss the factors related to effective helping and give examples of behavior that may interfere.
- Discuss personal and professional values, and explore the role they play in determining the behavior of a healthcare provider.
- Identify external and internal factors that contribute to unproductive stress in professional helpers and patients.
- Express ways to control the negative effects of stress.
- Identify career development and lifelong learning for the physical therapist assistant including participation in clinical education.
- Select performance improvement activities that are utilized to improve the quality of practice in physical therapy
- Discuss the skills needed for effective interaction with people from diverse backgrounds.
- Explain the significance of cultural variations on communication and on attitudes towards health and wellness.
- Describe and simulate appropriate methods for verifying patient identification.
- Describe and simulate appropriate methods of greeting a patient.
- Demonstrate and recognize effective interviewing skills.
- Practice the appropriate method for taking a patient history.
- Give examples of strategies for effective interaction in patient care, including those who have special needs, visual and hearing impairment, confusion, and aphasia.
- Discuss the importance of therapeutic communication skills in dealing with the dying and their families.
- Practice the ability to effectively interview and interact with a patient with diverse needs.
- Perform patient care skills related to vital signs, infection control, and emergency care.
- Recall normative values for vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, temperature, respiration, and pain), and identify deviations from normal.
- Locate and record vital signs on an individual, and complete a competency test.
- Obtain certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- Express commonly used measurement of a patient’s level of alertness and orientation.
- Identify questionnaires, scales, and/or graphs used in physical therapy to measure pain.
- Determine acute changes in physiological state, and explain an appropriate course of action.
- Explain commonly administered emergency first aid procedures in physical therapy practice.
- Discuss the purpose and content of universal (standard) precautions, and demonstrate the application with various case scenarios.
- Identify components of the infectious disease process.
- Identify the different methods of transmission of disease.
- Describe various isolation techniques used to prevent the transmission of disease.
- Restate the goals of infection control.
- Describe cleaning, pre-cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization.
- Determine items in a physical therapy department that require cleaning procedures.
- Describe methods of personal protection from infectious disease.
- Exhibit proper hand washing techniques.
- Discuss the current regulations on medical waste disposal.
- Perform patient care documentation skills.
- Describe the sections and information contained in a medical chart.
- Explain the components of the initial physical therapy evaluation.
- List the components of a subjective, objective, assessment, plan (SOAP) note.
- Write simple SOAP notes placing appropriate information in the correct sections.
- Describe what type of therapy notes can be written by a physical therapist (PT) versus physical therapist assistant (PTA).
- Interpret abbreviations and basic terms commonly referred to in physical therapy documentation.
- Describe the purpose of and compose a basic SOAP note.
Students must demonstrate proficiency on all CCPOs at a minimal 75 percent level to successfully complete the course. The grade will be determined using the Delaware Tech grading system:
Students should refer to the Student Handbook for information on the Academic Standing Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and other policies relevant to their academic progress.
Calculated using the following weighted average
Percentage of final grade
Weekly Quizzes (formative)
2 -3 Modular Exams (equally weighted, summative)
Final Exam (summative)
Final Practical (summative)
Psychomotor Competency Rubrics (summative, equally weighted)
Generic Abilities Tool for Professional Behaviors (summative)
CPR Certification (summative)
- Apply clear and effective communication skills.
- Use critical thinking to solve problems.
- Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
- Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct.
- Use information literacy for effective vocational and/or academic research.
- Apply quantitative reasoning and/or scientific inquiry to solve practical problems.
- Work under the supervision of a physical therapist in an ethical, legal, safe and effective manner.
- Implement PT interventions within the plan of care.
- Perform specific data collection techniques related to the plan of care.
- Demonstrate effective communication in the physical therapy environment.
- Formulate appropriate judgments and modification to the program within the patient’s plan of care.
- Demonstrate effective interactions and professional behaviors.
- Participate in career development activities.
- Exhibit a commitment to the physical therapy profession, physical therapy patients, and the community.
The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the campus Disabilities Support Counselor to request an accommodation needed due to a disability. A listing of campus Disabilities Support Counselors and contact information can be found at the disabilities services web page or visit the campus Advising Center.