Physiotherapist Assistant Program Outline & Career Information
Students receive comprehensive training both in a classroom and clinical setting. PTA’s as they are often called, provide physical therapy treatments to patients under direction of and as assistants to a Physiotherapist. Work settings include hospitals, physiotherapy clinics, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, sports medicine clinics, community health care agencies and other medical settings. Their duties may require them to administer active and passive manual therapeutic exercises and modality treatments.
- Theory Length – 36 seeks
- Internship Length – 7 weeks
- Total Length – 43 weeks
Introduction to Rehabilitation, The Healthcare Systems and Ethics
This course introduces students to the field of rehabilitation within the Canadian Health Care Systems. Topics include a comparison of the medical model, the rehabilitation model, and the client-centered model of patient care; severity and type of disability; rehabilitation team members and their roles; rehabilitation principles and goals; the health care system, social services and funding services; the therapeutic relationship; the code of ethics; and moral dilemmas of the health care setting such as patient rights, dilemmas of life and death, allocation of healthcare resources, and special dilemmas of healthcare professionals.
Interpersonal Skills, Communication, Problem Solving and Client Services
This course teaches effective interpersonal communication skills for managing personal and work relationships, for gaining voluntary compliance and for managing conflicts within a multicultural society. This course also provides a solid review of English grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure and includes various exercises to improve written communication.
Introduction to Computers, Applications and Keyboarding
Provides students with a solid understanding of computer hardware and software components. Students will operate microcomputers independently, organize related files and folders, produce professional looking documents, send and manage e-mail, and use the internet to research information. The course also helps students who do not type to developed correct typing techniques through the use of lecture and typing tutor software.
Medical Terminology, Body Systems, and Disease
This subject introduces student to medical terminology and provides students with a basic knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of body systems and their associated disorders. Topics covered include medical terminology, the 24 hour clock, normal body system structure and function, recognition of various homeostatic imbalances, common diseases and disorders, and an introduction to selected medical specialties such as pharmacology, oncology, radiology, nuclear medicine and psychiatry.
Basic Patient Care Techniques, Functional Movement and Rehabilitation
This course provides students with the basic knowledge and skills required to interact safely and effectively with a variety of clients in situation, categorized by (1) functional movement and (2) rehabilitation. Topics include infection control; safe body mechanics; functional movement, posture and gait; basic exercise and mobility techniques; safe transfer techniques; safe and effective use of various types of ambulatory aids; patient observation skills; procedures for reporting and documentation; and therapeutic skills such as palpation, range of motion, application.
Developmental Psychology and Functional Development across the Lifespan
This subject introduces students to developmental psychology, human development and how aging can affect the client base. Physiotherapist Assistants must be familiar with the changes that occur in “normal” aging and with those that are pathological in nature especially as they relate to the Physiotherapy Process. Student learn how to interact effectively with patients taking into account the therapeutic use of self, how to respond to systems and behaviors, and safety Techniques.
PTA Administration and Program Support
This course introduces Physiotherapy Assistant students to administrative functions within the clinical environment. Topics covered include office administrative skills such as telephone and reception skills, appointment scheduling, filing, correspondence and mail processing, photocopying, equipment and supply maintenance and how to assist with meetings. Workload Measurement statistics are also covered.
Essential Skills for PTA – Musculoskeletal
This course introduces students to a wide range of common musculoskeletal conditions that Physiotherapist Assistants encounter in daily practice, including those resulting from trauma, disease, illness, genetics, aging and the environment and the treatment/management for each. Students also develop basic skills in carrying out exercise programs; bandaging; applying splints, and immobilizers; assisting with ambulatory aids; setting up slings, pulleys, weights, exercise bikes, and treadmills; recording and reporting information.
Essential Skills for PTA – Modalities and Physical Agents
This course focuses on providing the Physiotherapy Assistant student with knowledge and basic competency skills required to assist with setting up, carrying out, and completing patient treatment procedures using a variety of modalities, equipment and Electrotherapeutic modalities. Emphasis is placed on safety issues and students learn precautions, side effects, contraindications, hazards and dangers of equipment and modality use, and the importance of follow through on reporting observations to the supervising physiotherapist. Principles of equipment maintenance and care are also covered.
Essential Skills for PTA – Cardiac, Neurological, Respiratory, and Wound Management
The overall focus of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to assist clients/patients with neurological, cardiovascular and/or respiratory problems. Topics include GMF, motor control, postural control and balance, cognitive/sensory stimulation, vital signs, auscultation, bed exercises, breathing exercises, postural drainage techniques, ROM and mobility activities, including precautions and contraindications. Students develop an awareness of the role and boundaries for PTAs when interacting with neurologically impaired patients and consider and discuss psychosocial aspects related to neurological, cardiovascular and/or respiratory conditions. Basic wound care and specialized interventions also covered in this section.
Introduction to Mental Health, Illness and Disability
This course introduces students to mental health/illness and their role in assisting occupational therapist and physiotherapist in the Management of common mental health and psychosocial disabling conditions. Students will become familiar with the history and theory of medical and psychological models of mental health and illness, mental health/illness treatment settings and service provision, common mental health and psychosocial disabling conditions, psychotherapeutic medications, an overview of occupational therapy process used in the treatment of clinical conditions commonly seen in the psychiatric setting, health maintenance in the area of mental health, and how to effectively interact with clients having a psychiatric disability.
Introduction to Occupational Therapy
This course provides students with an introduction to the field of Occupational Therapy with a specific focus on Occupational Therapy Assistants and their role in the clinical practice, particularly as it applies to physical dysfunction practice. Topics covered include history and theory related to occupational therapy, the role of the Occupational Therapist Assistant, the Occupational Therapy process, and Occupational Therapy evaluation methods, broad aspects of treatment, and selected treatment interventions and treatment applications.