School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS)
Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is a six-term program during which the student will attain the knowledge, skills and professional behaviors necessary for employment as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Physical therapist assistants work as part of a team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.
See Recommended Sequence of Courses
Care provided by PTAs may include teaching patients exercises for mobility, strength, and coordination; training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes, or walkers; massage; and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy.
The hours and days worked vary by practice setting. A PTA must use critical thinking and problem solving skills on a daily basis. A PTA must also possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact appropriately with patients, families, co-workers, and other healthcare providers.
Students are prepared to sit for the national board exams administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
The program is seeking accreditation through Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), but is not currently accredited.
Please check with an Academic Coach for more information.
Career and Educational Opportunities
Many of the courses in this program are transferable and some may be applied to four-year degree programs at other institutions. CNM currently has transfer agreements with many colleges and universities in New Mexico and elsewhere.
There is currently a nationwide demand for physical therapy assistants. Graduates will be employed as physical therapy assistants in hospitals, outpatient clinics, long term care facilities, home health, and rehabilitation facilities.