The physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a member of the healthcare team who implements treatment programs under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. These treatment programs are concentrated in health promotion, the prevention and/or treatment of physical disabilities. Some duties of the PTA include reading the patient’s chart, transferring the patient, assisting the patient in exercise, gait training, ambulation, applying physical agents such as heat, cold, and electrical stimulation to specific muscles, instructing the patient and caregiver in functional activities, and observing and reporting changes in the patient’s condition to the physical therapist.
PTAs work in settings where physical therapists are employed. These include hospitals, outpatient clinics, private practices, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, school systems, and colleges and universities.
Yes, successful completion of the PTA program at Polk State will allow you to be eligible to take the Florida State Board exam.
The PTA program begins a new class every Fall semester in August.
All PTA program classes are held at the Winter Haven campus in the WRH building, rooms 100 and 111. General education courses are available in Winter Haven, Lakeland, as well as online/hybrid versions.
The requirements for entering the PTA program include the following:
- Application to Polk State College as a degree-seeking student
- Completed application to the PTA program
- Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or better:
ENC 1101 – College Comp I
BSC 2085C – Anatomy and Physiology I
PSY 2012 – General Psychology
- Completion of at least 50 hours of observation in at least three (3) different clinical settings
- Overall GPA of 2.5 or higher
The PTA program application deadlines are as follows:
- For linkage students: February 1-February 15 each year (Linkage transmittal forms must be submitted by January 15 each year).
- For all students: February 15-March 15 each year.
Yes, you may apply to the program once all three (3) prerequisite courses (including any college preparation courses) and the 50 observation hours have been completed. Once the completed application has been submitted within the the application window, the program’s Admissions Committee will oversee the lottery selection process to determine the students who would be invited for admission to the program for that academic year.
Yes, depending on the student’s study habits and organization, part-time employment is possible except during the three full-time clinical affiliations (unless you work at night). Classes are held Monday through Thursday, mornings or afternoons. Program requirements are rigorous, and students must make a commitment to the program to ensure success.
Yes, the general education courses maybe taken before beginning the PTA program. Completion of these courses before entering the program is recommended if possible as it may help to lighten your load once you are in the program. The general education courses that maybe taken before entering the program are:
- MGF 1106 – Liberal Arts Math
- PHI 2600 – Ethics
- BSC 2086C – Anatomy and Physiology II
- HSC 2554 – Principles of Human Disease
Yes, the PTA program is allocated limited scholarship funds for students in need. The Financial Aid department at Polk State should be contacted for consultation for eligibility of the student for a variety of financial aid programs available to assist students who would be unable to attend college without aid.
That depends on the courses taken and the content of those courses. Courses that are transferred from other colleges are evaluated and accepted to determine credits via equivalency. The PTA Program does not accept transfer of core PTA courses taken in another PTA Program.