For On-Campus PTA Program admission, students who were unable to job shadow due to COVID-19 restrictions or other hardships may exercise this alternative option, described below. The purpose of job shadowing is to become familiar with physical therapy, and to determine whether the tasks a physical therapist assistant does during their workday are a good career match for the prospective PTA student. It’s important to get a good idea about what PTAs do and what the PTA education program is like. Watch the assigned video clips first, to learn more about physical therapy and the role of both PTs and PTAs.
As you are watching treatment video clips, carefully note what the PT and/or PTA is doing with the patient. Try to discern the purpose of the treatment. Is it to gain range of motion? Gain strength? Work on ambulation, or balance? How does the PT or PTA communicate with the patient? Pay attention to both verbal and non-verbal communication, and especially to the level of professionalism the PT or PTA displays. Notice there is generally a lot of close contact between PT/PTA staff and patients.
You may wish to take a few notes as you watch the videos. Really think about whether you can see yourself performing this kind of work. Do you find it interesting? Do you think you would enjoy working closely with people? Once you’ve watched the clips, answer the questions on the form and then submit it. Feel free to review the clips again as you are completing the form.
Please use college-level spelling, grammar, and punctuation as you are completing the form.
The video clips you should watch include ALL of the required clips listed below (1-11). Please skip the ads at the beginning of the videos. We’ve tried to provide video clips that give you an overview of different types of physical therapy, ranging from pediatric to hospital, outpatient and sport medicine to home health, amputee rehab to neurologic care. We think it’s important that you know there is such a variety of different types of PT. We will train you to be able to work in any of these settings. Please note that some clips show physical therapists and others show physical therapist assistants. PTAs can work in all of the same settings that PTs do.
- What is the Role of a PTA? (3:49)
- Becoming a PTA (from the APTA – 1:55)
- A PTA’s Opinion: “What I Wish I Knew Before Starting PTA School” (10:18)
- Advice (for PTA students) from a PTA Program Director (this is a director of a different program): (15:24)
- Great video showing the same patient progressing from the ICU to hospital discharge, receiving PT throughout (7:34)
- The importance of early mobility in the ICU (2:29)
- PT after amputation (3:52)
- Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury (3:09)
- Physical Therapy for plantar fasciitis (4:29 – outpatient clinic)
- Pediatric Physical Therapy (2:16)
A PTA’s opinion “Pros and Cons of Becoming a PTA” – (6:44) – please note the cost to become a PTA is about $15-20,000. To become a PT it can be as high as $100-150,000!
A PTA’s Opinion: “How to Decide if You Should Become a PTA” (15:43)
A PTA’s Opinion: “You Should NOT be a PTA if….” (8:30)
Janay’s Career as a PTA (0:57)
View the required form to complete AFTER watching the video clips.