Physical Therapist Assistant

  • Credits: 72
  • Degree Type: A.A.S.
  • Campus: East Grand Forks

Program Facts

Essential Functions for Physical Therapist Assistant Students

There are several important factors for you to consider when you are determining your future career directions. To be successful in the PTA classroom and in your job following graduation, you should be able to meet all of the following expectations:

1. Attend class approximately 10-25 hours a week
2. Complete all assignments on time
3. Participate in classroom discussions
4. Perform or instruct others in the following procedures (learned in class) in a timely manner: transfers, gait training, physical agents, activities of daily living, therapeutic exercises or activities, data collection procedures
5. Use sound judgment and safety precautions; exposure to bloodborne pathogens and/or infectious disease may occur as part of the educational experience. Students are trained in safety/infection control and are expected to follow these guidelines to avoid contracting or transmitting disease.
6. Meet class standards for successful course completion
7. Use critical thinking when making decisions
8. Follow standards stated in PTA Program Policy and Procedure Manual and the PTA Program Clinical Education Handbook
9. Address problems or questions to the appropriate person at the appropriate time
10. Maintain classroom work area, equipment, supplies, personal appearance and hygiene conducive to professional setting as appropriate
11. Behave in a competent, professional manner


Physical requirements for the PTA Program include the need to occasionally, frequently, or continually:

1. Sit 2-5 hours per day with lecture blocks up to 3 hours
2. Stand 1-6 hours with lab time blocks up to 3 hours
3. Lift up to 60 pounds
4. Push/pull up to 50 pounds of force exerted at waist level
5. Squat or stoop
6. Use auditory, tactile, and visual senses to assess physiological status of an individual
7. Demonstrate good standing and unsupported sitting balance
8. Demonstrate good finger dexterity
9. Coordinate verbal and manual instructions
10. Communicate effectively with a variety of people through written and verbal methods
11. Use hands repetitively
12. Shift weight in sitting or standing
13. Use a firm grasp
14. Reach above shoulder level
15. Kneel, kneel-stand, and half kneel
16. Use equipment that emits electrical, ultrasonic, and thermal energy
17. Physically move and transfer patients


Students who have concerns about the ability to perform any of these functions should contact the PTA Program Director at (218) 793-2565. Individuals with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations or information by calling (218) 793-2598.