PTA Essential Functions

PTA Essential Functions

Physical Therapist Assistant

Essential Functions Necessary to Ensure Attainment of Competencies
in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Essential Function Standard (Examples are not all inclusive)
Critical Thinking Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgement. Identify cause/effect relationships in clinical situations. Synthesize data; draw sound conclusions
Interpersonal Skills Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social emotional culture, and intellectual backgrounds.
Communication Ability Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form. Speak, write, read, and comprehend English. Sufficient voice volume to summon assistance.
Physical Endurance Remain continuously on task for several hours while standing, sitting. moving, lifting, and/or bending. Manually resuscitate patients in emergency situations.
Mobility Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces. Position oneself in environment so as to render care to clients, without obstructing the positioning of necessary equipment to other health care workers vital to the care of the client. Administer cardiopulmonary procedures.
Motor Skills Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective physical therapy care. Manual and finger dexterity to set and adjust dials on treatment units and debridement, hand/eye coordination, full range of motion, ability to lift 50 lbs., stand, walk, bend and sit. Be able to turn, position, transfer and gait train clients.
Hearing Ability Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Ability to hear alarms, emergency signals, auscultatory sounds, and cries for help.
Visual Ability Visual ability sufficient for physical assessment such as palpation, functions of physical therapy care. (Corrected 20/40). Distinguish color. Read manometers, labels, syringes, and others.
Tactile Ability Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment such as palpation, functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic interventions.
Olfactory Ability Olfactory senses sufficient to distinguish smells which are contributory to assessing a client’s health status, continence, wound assessment and safety.
Professional Attitude and Behavior Ability to present professional appearance and implement measures to maintain own physical/mental health and emotional stability. Work under stressful conditions. Be exposed to communicable diseases and contaminated body fluids/ React calmly in emergency situations. Show concern for self and others. Demonstrate flexibility.

Adapted from Red Alert: The Americans with Disabilities Act-Implications for Nursing Education (March ‘93)