Physical Therapist Assistant

About the Program

Under the direction and super­vision of Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants provide exercise and therapeutic instruction for patients using an approved personalized patient care plan. Assistants introduce therapeutic methods, including electrical stimula­tion, mechanical traction, ultrasounds, massage, and balance training. Physical Therapist Assis­tants record the patient’s responses to treatment and report the outcome of each treatment to the physical therapist.

Students in the Iowa Western Physical Therapist Assistant program will take advantage of high-tech simulation education in Iowa Western’s nationally recognized Center for Advanced Nursing and Allied Health Education. Working with high-fidelity simulation mannequins, Iowa Western students have the ability to practice a wide variety of procedures and techniques, and then review their skills on video, analyzing strengths and areas for improvement. In addition, Physical Therapist Assistant students will work alongside students in our Sports Medicine program, observing athletic training room protocols and injury therapy. 

*Effective November 6, 2013, Iowa Western Community College has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org). Candidacy is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation.

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by CAPTE, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245;accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Career Information

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the two-year Associate of Applied Science degree. Physical Therapist Assistants are employed in hospitals, clinics, independent offices, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities. The Occupational Outlook Handbook projects a 33 percent increase in this exciting field through 2020, due in part to the expansion of home health care provider services and long-term care facilities. Upon graduation from the program, students are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and become a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant.

Salary Information

Salary: Omaha-Council Bluffs MSA
Average: $39,242
Entry Level: $27,622
Experienced: $45,053

* Salary information from www.ihaveaplaniowa.org as reported by the US Dept of Labor www.bls.gov.

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Spring Only
Program Length: 3 Semesters, 2 Summers
Award: A.A.S.
Accreditation: *Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education Program Capacity: 24
Part-Time or Full-Time: Full-Time Only
Program Courses Offered: Day
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus