Essential Functions of the PTA Student
The work of a physical therapist assistant requires that the PTA student apply the knowledge and skills from the classroom to a variety of clinical situations. The work, at times, can be both intellectually and physically challenging. In order to perform in a competent and safe manner, the PTA student must be capable of the following essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodations.
- A student must be able to perform the following motor and sensory skills:
- Sit or stand in class for up to 7 hours per day.
- Demonstrate the motor planning and coordination required to provide physical therapy services to patients. This can include, but is not limited to, moving or positioning patients and equipment, lifting, carrying, pulling, and guiding equipment, patients, and accessories with assistance. In addition, student must be able to walk and move with ample agility to provide safe guarding during ambulation, transfers, and procedures for patients.
- A student must possess adequate observation and sensory skills to observe patients, collect and interpret data, and respond to warning or emergency sounds.
- Students must be also be able to tolerate a variety of sights and sounds.
- Sufficient Auditory Ability to recognize and respond to verbal communication and to equipment alarms. Students must be able to tolerate noisy environments with numerous distractions.
- Sufficient Visual Acuity to read English and numerals that may be fine printed on goniometers, other measuring devices, and equipment.
- Sufficient Tactile Skills to safely grasp and manipulate small dials on equipment. Also, the nature of the work of a PTA is “hands on” and students must be comfortable not only palpating anatomical structures and monitoring vital signs, but also working closely with others in their “personal space.”
- Sufficient Verbal Skills to communicate effectively in English, verbally and in written formats with faculty, peers, patients, families, and other health care professionals. Communication includes not only speech, but also reading and writing. Student must be able to speak intelligibly, to hear adequately, and to observe closely patients in order to elicit and transmit information. A student must possess reading skills at a level sufficient to accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients’ requirements and provide clinical care for patients. The student must be capable of completing appropriate medical records, documents, and plans according to protocol and in a timely manner.
- A student must be able to make clinical judgments using critical thinking, which requires the emotional maturity and stability to approach highly stressful situations in a calm and rational manner.
- A student must be able to meet all class standards for course completion.
- A student must behave in a compassionate and professional manner in the classroom and in the clinic and must recognize and respond appropriately to individuals with diverse backgrounds. Students must adhere to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the PTA set forth by the American Physical Therapy Association.
Johnson College is committed to helping students with disabilities complete their program of study by reasonable means or accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are services provided to individuals with disabilities that remove or lessen the effect of the disability-related barrier. Individuals without documented disabilities are not eligible for accommodations.
Prospective (interested) students with disabilities, in accordance with Johnson College policy, and as defined by section 504 of 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1993, who may seek accommodations in order to meet the technical standards are encouraged to contact Counseling and Disability Services to discuss what reasonable accommodations, if any, the College could make in order for the perspective student to meet the standards. A student with a disability who requests accommodations will be required to submit this request in writing and provide pertinent supporting documentation in accordance with Johnson College policies. Perspective students are not required to disclose any information regarding technical standards to the Enrollment Department.
Questions or Concerns? Please contact disability services for more information.