Essential Performance Functions

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 10-21 hours per week, including lecture, lab, and clinic
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 blood-borne 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 in lecture, lab, and clinic
8. Follow standards stated in PTA Student Policy and Procedure 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 classroom, lab, or clinic setting as appropriate
11. Behave in a competent, professional manner
12. Travels to various locations required for classes

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

1. Sit 1-4 hours per day with lecture blocks up to 3 hours
2. Stand 1-6 hours with lab time blocks up to 3 hours
3. Walk/travel 20 minutes to/from class
4. Lift up to 60 pounds
5. Push/pull up to 50 pounds of force exerted at waist level
6. Squat or stoop
7. Use auditory, tactile, and visual senses to assess physiological status of an individual
8. Demonstrate good standing and unsupported sitting balance
9. Demonstrate good finger dexterity
10. Coordinate verbal and manual instructions
11. Communicate effectively with a variety of people through written and verbal methods
12. Use hands repetitively
13. Shift weight in sitting or standing
14. Use a firm grasp
15. Reach above shoulder level
16. Kneel, kneel-stand, and half kneel
17. Use equipment that emits electrical, ultrasonic, and thermal energy
18. 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) 733-7632. Students are also encouraged to observe patient treatments in the on-campus physical therapy clinic to see first-hand the physical requirements of a physical therapist assistant. Individuals with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations or information by calling (218) 733-7650.

Students interested in the program are encouraged to observe physical therapy treatments in the Lake Superior College Physical Therapy Clinic (or other clinic) to see personally the physical requirements of work as a PTA. For more information, contact Chandra Shoberg, Clinic Manager, at (218) 733-6997 or