Physical Therapist Assistant
An Associate of Applied Science degree, a Bachelor of Applied Science, and a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree are available.
This program will provide students with the skills and knowledge to:
- Be a member of the health care team that plans and implements a rehabilitative patient care program.
- Under the supervision of a physical therapist, the PTA will carry out a treatment program that includes, but is not limited to, therapeutic activities to improve strength, endurance, coordination, balance, and range of motion.
- Learn and then safely utilize modalities including: heat, cold, electricity, sound, water, or massage to relieve pain, promote the healing process, and stimulate muscle activity.
- Instruct patients in safe functional mobility skills and therapeutic activities using assistive devices such as walkers, crutches, canes, and wheelchairs when appropriate.
- Assist the physical therapist in performing tests and assessments, as well as observing and reporting patient responses to treatment.
The PTA graduate works with the Physical Therapist in performing rehabilitation interventions, patient assessments, as well as observing and reporting patient responses to treatment.
The Physical Therapist Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national examination for licensure for Physical Therapist Assistants.
General Education requirements must be completed with a cumulative 2.0 GPA. All other courses in the program must be completed with a ‘C’ or higher. If a student fails to meet the grade requirements, they will be dismissed from the PTA program. Students who are dismissed may petition to return the following year, however, re-entry is not guaranteed but dependent on the approval of the petition and availability of a seat in that year's cohort of students.
For a Program Information Packet showing descriptions of each option, course descriptions, lists of course sequences, and the cost of books, tools, uniforms, fees, and other expenses, go online to https://www.isu.edu/pta/.
Each course must be completed with a C or better before the student can progress in the program.
How to Read Course Descriptions
The bolded first line begins with a capitalized abbreviation that designates the subject area followed by the course number and title. The number of credits earned by taking the courses is also displayed.
The course description is a brief summary of the purpose of the course and the topics covered. Any requisite courses are listed and could include the following:
- Courses showing the abbreviation “COREQ” require simultaneous registration with each course named as a corequisite.
- The abbreviation “PRE-or-COREQ” means that each course named may have been taken prior to or may be taken concurrently with the course for which it is required.
- Courses showing the abbreviation “PREREQ” require the courses named as prerequisites to have been taken previously.
If the course can be applied towards a General Education Objective, the applicable Objective is listed.
To assist with your academic planning, courses in the Undergraduate Catalog are designated according to the semester they are usually offered. Unanticipated faculty vacancies and academic program changes may affect future course scheduling. Therefore, students should always contact the academic department to verify future course offerings, especially when specific courses are needed for graduation.
The following letters which appear after the course descriptions indicate the anticipated course scheduling:
F = Fall Semester, every year
S = Spring Semester, every year
Se = Sequential; a series of courses is presented until all have been taught.
Su = Summer Semester, every year
EF, ES, ESu = Even-numbered years, Fall, Spring, or Summer Semester
OF, OS, OSu = Odd-numbered years, Fall, Spring, or Summer Semester
D = Students should contact the Department to ask when this course will be offered.
R1 = Course is rotated every year, either Fall or Spring
R2 = Course is rotated every two years, either Fall or Spring
R3 = Course is rotated every three years, either Fall or Spring
PTA 0104 Introduction to Kinesiology: 3 semester hours.
Fundamental principles of anatomical terminology, osteology, arthrology. Basic observation and palpation skills required. Equivalent to MSTH 0104. PREREQ: Admission to the MSTH or PTA program. F
PTA 0105 Introduction to Physical Therapy: 1 semester hour.
Roles and responsibilities of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants will be explored, as well as the history of physical therapy. Includes patient care, legal issues, principles of physical therapy treatment, education requirements, and functions of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Local physical therapy facilities visited. PRE-or-COREQ: PTA 0104 or permission of instructor. F
PTA 0106 Applied Kinesiology: 3 semester hours.
Studies the human anatomy with an emphasis on the musculoskeletal system, identification of structures and relationship to function, normal and abnormal biomechanical principles of joint motion and gait patterns. PREREQ: PTA 0104, PTA 0105, BIOL 1101, BIOL 1101L, BIOL 3301, and BIOL 3301L. S
PTA 0107 Procedures I: 5 semester hours.
Procedures related to physical therapy treatment, including universal precautions, principles of physics, anatomy, kinesiology, thermal agents, ultrasound, vital signs and their use in therapeutics, transfer training, ROM, ultrasound, wheelchair, and wound management. PREREQ: Second year student in good standing, and PTA 0105. S
PTA 0201 Procedures II: 5 semester hours.
A continuation of PTA 0107, Procedures I, including electrical stimulation theory and techniques for applying variations of electrical current, biofeedback, and other modalities. Students will also learn therapeutic management of prosthetics and orthotics. PREREQ: Second-year student in good standing, and PTA 0104, PTA 0105, PTA 0106, PTA 0107, and PTA 0213. F
PTA 0202 Physical Therapy Assessment: 4 semester hours.
Observation skills, tests and measurements in physical therapy including manual muscle testing, goniometry, vital signs, gait, pain, posture and functional assessment as related to patient progress. PREREQ: Second-year student in good standing, and PTA 0104, PTA 0105, PTA 0106, PTA 0107, and PTA 0213. F
PTA 0203 Therapeutic Exercise: 5 semester hours.
Therapeutic exercise principles and practices related to patient treatment. Includes stretching, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, other rehab techniques like NDT, Rood, Brunnstrum, cardiopulmonary rehab, and exercise equipment. PREREQ: Second year student in good standing, and HO 0208, PTA 0201, and PTA 0202. S
PTA 0204 Seminar: 3 semester hours.
Current practices and issues in physical therapy. Includes clinical problem solving, ethics, legal aspects, reimbursement, case management, research, and employment issues. PREREQ: Second year student in good standing, and PTA 0201 and PTA 0202. S
PTA 0213 Clinical Affiliation I: 7 semester hours.
Clinical instructor supervised, eight-week clinical experience starting in the summer (May) after the first year. Experience will focus on initiating and developing beginning Physical Therapist Assistant skills in the treatment setting. PREREQ: Second year student in good standing, and PTA 0104, PTA 0105, PTA 0106, and PTA 0107. Su
PTA 0214 Clinical Affiliation II: 7 semester hours.
Clinical instructor supervised, eight-week clinical experience starting in March of the second year. Experience will focus on performing Physical Therapist Assistant skills at a professional level in preparation for entering the workforce. PREREQ: Second year student in good standing, PTA 0201, PTA 0202, and PTA 0213. PRE-OR-COREQ: PTA 0203 and PTA 0204. S
PTA 0296 Independent Study: 1-8 semester hours.
Addresses specific learning needs of individuals for the enhancement of knowledge and skills within the program area under the guidance of an instructor. May be repeated. Graded S/U, or may be letter-graded. PREREQ: Permission of the instructor. D
PTA 0298 Special Topics: 1-8 semester hours.
This course is designed to address the specific needs of individuals. It will enable the students to upgrade their technical skills through part-time enrollment in units of instruction that are currently available through the program's full-time pre-employment curriculum. PREREQ: Permission of instructor.
Director of Rehabilitation Programs, Coordinator, and Clinical Assistant Professor
Jernigan, Darin Joseph, Director of Rehabilitation Programs, Coordinator, Clinical Assistant Professor, Physical Therapist Assistant. B.S. 1988, Idaho State University; M.S. 1991, University of the Pacific; D.P.T. 2011, Idaho State University. (2002)
Lippiello, Angela, Clinical Instructor, Physical Therapist Assistant. B.S. 2000, A.A.S. 2003, Idaho State University. (2009)
Smith, David. Instructor, Physical Therapist Assistant. A.A.S. 2007, B.S. 2008, Idaho State University; M.S. 2015, University of Utah. (2015)
Associate of Applied Science Degree: Physical Therapist Assistant
|HO 0106||Medical Terminology||2|
|HO 0107||Medical Law and Ethics||3|
|One of the following two options:|
|HO 0111||Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology||4|
& BIOL 3302
& BIOL 3302L
|Anatomy and Physiology|
and Anatomy and Physiology Lab
and Anatomy and Physiology
and Anatomy and Physiology Lab
|HO 0208||Introduction to Pathology||3|
|or BIOL 3305||Introduction to Pathobiology|
|PTA 0104||Introduction to Kinesiology||3|
|PTA 0105||Introduction to Physical Therapy||1|
|PTA 0106||Applied Kinesiology||3|
|PTA 0107||Procedures I||5|
|PTA 0201||Procedures II||5|
|PTA 0202||Physical Therapy Assessment||4|
|PTA 0203||Therapeutic Exercise||5|
|PTA 0213||Clinical Affiliation I||7|
|PTA 0214||Clinical Affiliation II||7|
|General Education courses: 1|
and Biology I Lab 2
|PSYC 1101||Introduction to General Psychology 2||3|
|Additional General Education courses||9|
See General Education Requirements (minimum 15 credits) for A.A.S. Degree at the start of the College of Technology section of the catalog.
Contributes to a General Education requirement.