Technical Standards

Technical standards are the physical, cognitive, and psychological attributes a student needs to possess to be successful in SUNY Canton’s Physical Therapist Assistant program. A student’s ability to progress through the PTA Program to meet requirements for graduation is based not only on satisfactory academic achievement, but also on their ability to demonstrate the technical standards listed in this document.

It is important that every student who is admitted to the SUNY Canton PTA program be able to meet the technical standards listed below, which are consistent with safe and effective physical therapy practice. Any student who believes they would need accommodations in order to meet these standards should contact our Student Accessibility Services department at (315) 386-7392 to begin the process. Prior notice is needed to arrange reasonable accommodations.

Psychomotor (Physical) Standards

  • Demonstrate ability to lift, push, pull, carry 1/3 of body weight (i.e. transfers, hoyer lift, CPR procedures, manual resistance)
  • Balance self and provide support to patients during various mobility activities (i.e. gait training, bed mobility, transfers)
  • Assume and maintain a variety of positions (i.e. sitting, standing, bending, squatting, reaching)
  • Perform fine motor skills (i.e. manipulate dials, ultrasound, manual therapy, palpation, written or computerized documentation)
  • Possess adequate vision to read written and computerized information; observe and interpret patient posture and movement, nonverbal communication, and signs of disease and dysfunction; and to identify safety hazards.
  • Possess adequate hearing to detect high and low frequency sounds including, but not limited to, alarms, bells, emergency signals, timers.
  • Ability to move efficiently and effectively to meet the time restraints of the clinical environment

Cognitive (Intellectual) Standards

  • Ability to effectively communicate with other students, faculty, patients and their family members and care givers, and other health care providers.
  • Ability to produce written communication that is clear, concise, and accurate to document patient care
  • Ability to follow written or verbal directions to perform tasks or procedures.
  • Demonstrate ability to make sound clinical decisions in an efficient manner in order to provide safe and effective patient care.
  • Ability to exercise independent judgment and think logically in the performance of one’s duties.
  • Master content in technical and clinical courses at the level deemed appropriate for the safe and effective practice of physical therapy.

Affective (Psychological) Standards

  • Ability to function effectively under stress and to adapt to an environment which may change rapidly without warning and/or in unpredictable ways.
  • Ability to remain calm, rational, and decisive, at all times, especially during emergency situations.
  • Exhibit social skills appropriate to professional interactions.
  • Ability to plan, prioritize and organize one’s work
  • Ability to maintain patient confidentiality and exercise ethical judgment, integrity, honesty, dependability, and accountability in the performance of one’s professional responsibilities.

Deborah Molnar, PT, DPT, MSEd
PTA Program Director
(315) 386-7394