Science and Mathematics Division
Reading Area Community College offers a Physical Therapist Assistant Program in cooperation with Lehigh Carbon Community College. Students complete the general education requirements at Reading Area Community College and then complete the Physical Therapist Assistant clinical program at Lehigh Carbon Community College. After satisfactory completion of all program requirements, the student earns an Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant from Lehigh Carbon Community College.
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is fully accredited under the commission on accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. This program will prepare the graduate to work under the supervision and direction of a licensed physical therapist in performing physical therapy treatments that include the following: therapeutic exercise, mechanical traction, massage, compression, heat, cold, sound, ultraviolet, water and electricity; instruction in activities of daily living (ADL); and the use and care of braces, prostheses and ambulation devices. The program includes clinical experience under the direction of a licensed physical therapist in area health facilities. Jobs for which graduates are expected to be qualified include physical therapist assistants in hospitals, extended health care facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, private physical therapy practices and children’s centers.
Upon successful completion of this program, the student should be able to:
- Use therapeutic exercise, mechanical traction, therapeutic massage, compression, heat, cold, ultraviolet, water, electricity and ultrasound.
- Measure and adjust crutches, canes, walkers and wheelchairs, and instruction in their use and care.
- Instruct, motivate and assist patients and others in improving pulmonary function, learning and improving functional activities, such as preambulation, transfer, ambulation, and daily living activities, and the use and care of orthoses, prostheses and supportive devices.
- Perform, without interpretation, of selected measurement procedures, such as range of joint motion, gross strength of muscle groups, length and girth of body parts and vital signs.
- Modify treatment procedures as indicated by patient response and within the limits specified in the plan of care, and reporting orally or in writing to the physical therapist.
- Communicate with members of physical therapy staff and other health team members, individually and in conference, to provide patient information.