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Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant

As a Physical Therapist Assistant, you will have the opportunity to work at many different kinds of health care facilities, such as sports care clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and schools with a wide range of patients.

You will also be a professional member of the health care team. This allows you to be directly involved in helping people with injuries to relieve their pain as well as heal and to regain function so as to lead a more normal, independent life.

Why GCC?

The Physical Therapist Assistant degree program at GCC is accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association, and is designed to prepare you for the national licensing exam. You can complete the degree in as little as two years of full-time study, or you can choose a more flexible part-time class schedule for a large portion of the curriculum.

The program includes on-site internship opportunities at health service providers in the Genesee region. The curriculum provides hands-on lab experiences in:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Massage
  • Orthopedics
  • Pain control
  • Pediatrics
  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics

For our graduating classes of 2014 and 2013, an average of 98% of Physical Therapist Assistant graduates who were eligible and actively seeking employment were able to secure employment as a PTA within a year after completing the program and an average of 98.2% of our graduates who took the licensing exam have passed it. 90.9% of our graduates have passed this exam on the first time, as compared to a national average of 85.7% for 2015 and 2014.  The score to pass this exam is set nationally and no further examinations are required for renewal in the future.

Physical Therapy Assistant students at GCC also have the opportunity to join extracurricular organizations:

PTA Club. The PTA Club is open to all PTA and General Studies-PTA students. PTA Club activities have included a Massage-a-thon, Big Brother/Big Sister Luncheon, Clinic Luncheon, Senior Banquet, white-water rafting on the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park, and meetings with special speakers on topics of interest in physical therapy. Money raised by the PTA Club assists a needy GCC family at Christmas, helped fund a playground at Monroe Community Hospital for pediatric patients, and supported Camp Good Days.

American Physical Therapy Association. Students from GCC are actively involved in the APTA through the New York Physical Therapy Association's Western District (Buffalo) and Finger Lakes District (Rochester). Activities have included attending State PT and Leadership Conferences, Political Action Committee Lobby Day in Albany, student conferences, and monthly meetings.

Career Opportunities

The Physical Therapist Assistant is an educated health care provider who assists the Physical therapist in the provision of physical therapy. Duties of the physical therapist assistant (PTA) include: training patients in exercises and activities of daily care living; conducting treatments utilizing special equipment; assisting in performing test, evaluations and complex treatment procedures; and observing and reporting the patient's responses.

PTAs work in many types of settings, such as general hospitals, rehabilitation centers, developmental centers, nursing homes, schools for handicapped children, and community health centers. Currently there are not enough physical therapy practitioners to meet the needs throughout the country.