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Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant Degree Program

Train hands-on to be a physical therapist assistant with some classes available online!

20
months
2
locationsOntario and Orange County
Want more details about the Physical Therapist Assistant Program?

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Looking for an exciting field that lets you work directly with patients?

When you earn a physical therapist assistant degree, you learn to use stretching, exercises, and your knowledge of the human body to improve patients' ability to move or reduce their pain.

Combine your love for exercise with your care for others by starting a career as a physical therapist assistant. Through injuries, accidents, and old age, the ability to move freely is an important part of living a healthy, daily life. Help patients live their lives to the fullest by restoring their ability to move.

Looking for the right physical therapist assistant school? ACC's 20-month Physical Therapist Assistant program focuses on hands-on training. With more than 600 hours of clinical experience built into the program, students get a real-life preparation to enter the healthcare field.

Find a physical therapist assistant program near you. Our program is available at our Ontario and Orange County campuses.

The physical therapist assistant degree program is taught in a blended format combining online classes and in-person instruction.

Program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

2020-2021 Physical Therapist Assistant Financial Fact Sheet

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Learn to:

Develop Treatment Plans

Develop Treatment Plans

Learn to providing patient-specific treatments and techniques to advance functional rehabilitation.

Patient Education

Patient Education

Instruct patients on equipment use, therapeutic, and home exercise programs.

Functional Training

Functional Training

Incorporate functional training with physical therapy treatment plans to aid patients in recovery.

Physical Therapist Assistant
Overview

The American Career College Physical Therapist Assistant program is geared toward preparing you for a challenging, rewarding career as a physical therapist assistant in exciting environments such as hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, clinics, medical offices, and a range of other health care settings. A physical therapist assistant’s duties may include:*

  • Providing help to individuals with health conditions that limit their ability to move and perform activities
  • Teaching patients exercises designed to increase mobility, coordination and strength
  • Treating patients by using techniques such as stretching
  • Provide information to the physical therapist on the patient’s response to treatment

1California Employment Development Department OCC Guide, Physical Therapist Assistants in California

The PTA program is designed to help students acquire the knowledge and training to be able to:

  1. Perform physical therapy skills and techniques in a safe, competent manner that minimizes risk to the patient, self and others
  2. Demonstrate professional behavior at all times in the classroom and clinical environments
  3. Abide by professional legal and ethical standards as outlined by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  4. Provide competent physical therapy services by taking into consideration patients’ differences, values, preferences and needs
  5. Demonstrate effective communication and be able to adapt to situational patient needs
  6. Become competent, effective physical therapist assistants through continual self-assessment of knowledge, skills and behaviors
  7. Demonstrate clinical problem solving when determining patient status, changes in patient status, patient data collection, and need for plan of care modification and or need for other services
  8. Understand effective and appropriate documentation for physical therapy services
  9. Manage resources by participating in the efficient delivery of PT services

Effective, Efficient Career Preparation

ACC's dynamic curriculum enables you to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become a qualified, competent, confident Physical Therapist Assistant --quickly and efficiently.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is available at our Orange County and Ontario campuses.

Accreditation Statement:

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program in Orange County and Ontario is accredited by The Physical Therapist Assistant Program in Orange County is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)  of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

CAPTE Physical Therapist Assistant Student Achievement Measures  (Orange County Campus)

 

2019

2020

Two-Year Average

Graduation Rate

72.7%

95.9%

79.7%

First-Time Exam Pass Rate*

91.2%

71.2%

79.1%

Ultimate Licensure Exam Pass Rate*

97.1%

90.4%

93%

Employment Rate

100%

100%

100%

*Obtained from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

From lectures to real-world experience, our ACC programs are designed with your career in mind.

Apply Now

From lectures to labs, our ACC curriculum is designed with you in mind.
A Day in the Life of a Physical Therapy Assistant

As a Physical Therapist Assistant, you'll work closely with patients to improve their ability to move easily or without pain. You will use your knowledge about human anatomy to help people who suffer from an injury, accident, surgery, or general mobility issues. Your work will allow them to live more normal, pain-free daily lives.

Here are some things you may do:

  • Work hands-on, directly with patients
  • Teach patients basic exercises to improve range of motion and coordination
  • Treat patients using techniques like stretching
  • Communicate with the physical therapist to monitor patient progress and results
What Will I Be Trained to Do as a Physical Therapy Assistant?

Physical therapist assistants use exercises, stretches, and their knowledge of the body to help patients recover or improve mobility. Students in our physical therapy assistant program will be trained to do the following: 

  • Provide treatment to improve patient mobility or relieve pain
  • Help with exercise, soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, electrical stimulation, and more
  • Put on or remove supportive devices such as braces or splints
  • Record the patient’s responses to treatment1

1California Employment Development Department Detailed Guide, Physical Therapist Assistants in California

Am I a Good Fit for the Physical Therapy Assistant Program?

If you want a hands-on career that allows you to work with people one-on-one, you might enjoy physical therapy.

Here are some of the top skills and attributes that make for a great physical therapist assistant:

Communication – Because physical therapist assistants work directly with patients, they must be able to communicate effectively with them, explaining exercises, adaptive devices, and more.

Monitoring – Physical therapist assistants should be able to monitor and assess their patients’ performance and progress.

Social perceptiveness - Being aware of and understanding patients’ reactions helps physical therapist assistants provide patient-centered service.

Service orientation – A great physical therapist assistant is one with a passion for helping patients and for providing the best care possible.

Instructing – Physical therapist assistants must be able to lead patients through exercises an

Where Can I Work as a Physical Therapist Assistant?

Physical therapy assistants can work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Offices of other health practitioners
  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Home health care services
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Outpatient care centers1

1California Employment Development Department Detailed Guide, Physical Therapist Assistants in California

What Will I Learn in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program?

The goal of the school's program is to help you graduate with the confidence, knowledge, and qualifications to be a Physical Therapist Assistant.

Physical Therapy Assistants play critical roles in helping physical therapists with the rehabilitation of patients—including accident victims, injured athletes, those suffering from burns, strokes, arthritis, and more.

American Career College's Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Occupational Science degree program encompasses:

Two clinical courses at the conclusion of the classroom and laboratory portion of the program.

A total of 600 clinical hours is required for program completion.

Clinical Practicum I

This clinical practicum experience provides each student with the opportunity to observe and apply basic skills performed within the classroom while under constant supervision in the clinical setting. The aim of this experience includes observation of departmental activities including familiarization in delegation while applying basic intervention skills, safety awareness, documentation, communication, and modality application.

Clinical Practicum II

This clinical practicum experience is a full time 10 week clinical affiliation where students will have the opportunity to experience clinical practice in a minimum of two rehabilitation settings. Upon completion, the student is expected to achieve knowledge and skills that are required to implement a plan of care under the direction of a licensed physical therapist to improve mobility and function of patients of varying diagnoses and impairments. Students are expected to perform clinical skills with increasing efficiency as well as implement knowledge learned through ongoing coursework including cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and therapeutic interventions related to prosthetics and orthotics. Attention will be paid to developing proficiency in the communication and interaction between a PT/PTA as well as demonstrating appropriate PT/PTA clinical relationship. The student will attain the ability to provide patient care with quality, efficiency, complexity, and consistency under the supervision and guidance of a physical therapist and reflective of a PTA student progressing toward competency consistent with an entry level physical therapist assistant.

Didactic and Laboratory Courses

Various delivery methods are employed within the didactic portion of the school's program. Self-discovery methods and problem-based learning supplement standard lecture delivery platforms. In combination, these delivery methods will maximize exchange of information and encourage student initiative in and out of the clinical setting.

Throughout the class curriculum, documentation skills will be developed, with emphasis placed on accurate documentation and its relationship to patient safety, practitioner communication, interdisciplinary plans of care, denied reimbursement, and practice acts and laws.

Interdisciplinary instruction personnel from inside the college are incorporated into some classes, using the expertise of other program instructors (e.g., respiratory). Interdisciplinary instruction personnel from outside the college are incorporated into some classes, using the expertise of other clinical professionals (e.g., pharmacy).

Exposure to advanced equipment will be available to students in a newly constructed facility.

For a complete description of coursework in these modules, please refer to the ACC Catalog.

How Long Will It Take to Get My Degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant?

Students can earn their degree to become a physical therapy assistant in as little as 20 months.

Student Acheivement Measurement for a Physical Therapist Assistant Student

CAPTE Physical Therapist Assistant Student Achievement Measures  (Orange County Campus)

 

2019

2020

Two-Year Average

Graduation Rate

72.7%

95.9%

79.7%

First-Time Exam Pass Rate*

91.2%

71.2%

79.1%

Ultimate Licensure Exam Pass Rate*

97.1%

90.4%

93%

Employment Rate

100%

100%

100%

 

*Obtained from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

How Much is Tuition for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program?

Our admissions advisors and financial aid advisors are here to support you. They can help you figure out the physical therapist assistant school cost and help you explore financial aid options.

To learn more about ACC’s Physical Therapy Assistant program cost, access our tuition info.

Is Financial Aid Available for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program?

Yes, financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

Will I Get Real-World Training?

Yes! ACC's physical therapist assistant program includes over 600 hours of clinicals which gives students the opportunity to demonstrate and reinforce the knowledge and skills they acquired learning hands-on throughout the training program.

ACC-OC Faculty Spotlight: Janice Lwin

Physical Therapist Assistant
Combining classroom and in-the-field learning, you'll start your first job with confidence.

We focus our curriculum around the real-world skills you'll need to be successful in your career.

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"The time and the effort that everyone at ACC did to make sure every student was acknowledged - the difference is huge.

- Jessica C.

Physical Therapist Assistant
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Want more details about the Physical Therapist Assistant Program?

By clicking above, I consent to receive calls and/or text messages** by a college representative with information for educational opportunities at the number(s) provided above. I understand calls may be initiated by an automated telephone dialing system. I need not grant this consent to receive information or to be eligible to enroll with ACC. I also understand that if I no longer wish to receive text messages from ACC, I can text back "Stop" at any time to unsubscribe from the service. (**Standard rates may apply.)

*Required

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