Physical Therapist Assistant

A helping hand in the healing process

To help people rehabilitate from injury or disease is to help them truly improve their life. Physical therapist assistants are key members of a healthcare team. Working under the supervision and direction of a licensed physical therapist, physical therapist assistants have face-to-face interactions with patients, improving their mobility, relieving pain, and lessening physical limitations. That can mean coaching patients through an exercise program, performing massage, or teaching patients to use crutches or an artificial limb. ACC's Physical Therapist Assistant program combines classroom and lab instruction with real, clinical experience. Graduates score well on the national licensing exam and enjoy employment opportunities in a variety of settings. ACC offers a Physical Therapist Assistant associate of applied science degree.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have not already completed the ACC admissions process, please visit the Future Students page. At the financial aid page you can check your eligibility and submit an application.

This program has specific program requirements and prerequisite courses. Acceptance to ACC does not guarantee admission to this program.

What skills can I gain?

Students build professional expertise that allows them to perform physical therapy interventions and other related duties under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. These responsibilities can include teaching patients how to walk, how to use crutches or an artificial limb, or how to execute various therapeutic exercises. Areas of study include massage, electric stimulation, and therapeutic applications of heat and ultrasound. Students also learn important job duties such as safe methods for moving patients to and from treatment areas and how to maintain a clean and organized treatment area.

Physical Therapist Assistants frequently treat patients with disabling conditions such as lower-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and cerebral palsy. The program's clinical component allows students to develop expertise working with a variety of patients.

PLEASE NOTE: ACC courses do not transfer to physical therapy programs. Individuals interested in becoming physical therapists should contact those schools directly to get the admission requirements. The American Physical Therapy Association has a list of accredited physical therapy programs.

How long will it take to get a degree or certificate?

Most students require at least two years to complete the program, including prerequisite requirements.

Where can I work with this education?

Physical Therapist Assistants can work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, outpatient clinics, fitness centers, acute care facilities, nursing homes, schools, and sports training facilities.

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1488, 703.684.2782, www.apta.org).