An important component of the Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum is clinical education. Students begin to gain hands on clinical experience during the first year of the curriculum in Clinical I (Fall Semester) and Clinical II (Spring Semester). These are part time clinical experiences in which students are assigned in small groups to local clinics, providing them with the opportunity to develop clinical skills and behaviors right from the start of the curriculum.
Students also complete two full time clinical experiences. Clinical III and Clinical IV are each 7 weeks in length and occur during the spring semester of the senior year. Students are assigned to two different physical therapy clinical sites where they work under the direct supervision of a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant. This provides students with the opportunity to put the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the classroom and laboratory into practice in a clinical setting in preparation for entry level clinical practice. A strong emphasis is placed on communication and professional behaviors.
Students are required to do their senior affiliations in two different types of physical therapy settings to ensure that they gain exposure to a variety of patient diagnoses and a diversity of patient populations, as well as to experience the differences in health care delivery between various settings.
The types of settings may include any of the following:
- Acute care hospital
- Outpatient PT department of a hospital
- Private practice outpatient clinic
- Nursing Home--long term care and subacute rehab
- Acute care rehabilitation hospital
- School system
- Home health care agency
Our contracted clinical sites are located throughout out the county, state and country. We currently have numerous contracts with facilities in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Franklin, and Essex Counties as well as several in the Albany and Syracuse areas. We also have agreements with a number of national PT companies who have clinics throughout the United States.
Deborah Molnar, PT, DPT, MSEd
PTA Program Director