Home Campus Directory | A-Z Index

Technical Standards

The following is a list of technical standards that a student must be capable of performing while enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

Motor Skills

      A student must be able to:

  • Sit in class for up to seven hours per day.
  • Safely bend, lift, twist, push, pull, and transfer up to 200 pounds to assist in moving a patient from one surface to another.
  • Palpate anatomical structures and handle injured body parts without causing injury to the patient.
  • Give manual resistance to a patient’s arm, leg, or trunk during exercise.
  • Move with adequate agility and speed to ensure patient safety.
  • Walk and balance well enough to help patients walk and transfer with or without equipment, while preventing injury to patient and self.
  • Safely grasp and manipulate small objects and set dials on electrical equipment.
  • Use equipment that emits electrical, ultrasonic, and thermal energy.

Observational and Sensory Skills

     A student must be able to:

  • Use visual, auditory, and tactile senses to observe patients and collect and interpret data.
  • Read and interpret equipment dials, patient charts, professional literature, and notes from patients, physicians, and other health professionals.
  • Respond to warning sounds, machine alarms, and calls for help. 

Communication Skills

     A student must be able to:

  • Communicate effectively in English in verbal and written formats with faculty, peers, patients, families, and other health professionals.
  • Report clearly and legibly through progress notes in patient charts.

Intellectual and Conceptual Skills

     A student must be able to:

  • Meet class standards for successful course completion.
  • Collect, interpret, and integrate data about patients.

Behavioral and Social Attitudes

     A student must be able to:

  • Recognize and respond appropriately to individuals of all ages, genders, and races, and from all socio-economic, religious, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Cope with stress of heavy workloads, demanding patients, and life-threatening clinical situations.
  • Recognize and respond appropriately to potentially hazardous situations.
  • Demonstrate the physical and emotional capacity to work a 40-hour week while on clinical affiliation.
  • Behave in an ethically sound, competent, compassionate, and professional manner in the classroom and in the clinic.


Students who have concerns about the ability to perform any of these standards should contact the PTA program director and campus coordinator of disabilities services. Students with documented disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students who cannot meet the reasonable accommodations will receive career counseling, as acceptance into the PTA program would be inappropriate for employment for safety reasons.

Back to PTA main page