PTA School Difficulty

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RR in Newington, Connecticut

65 months ago

I want to know exactly how challenging is PTA school? I work full time on third shift so my days are open to attend classes, but are the classes so difficult that I will have to quit my job. Also, how selective are these PTA programs. I have a B.S. in Psych and I'm 25, what are the usual demographics of applicants to these programs.

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Kat 1962 in Fort Myers, Florida

65 months ago

PTA school is challenging but I graduated with students who worked full time throughout the program. Yes, they struggled but they got through it. Remember, "C's get Degrees". The true measure is how you perform as a therapist once you are out in the field. Just because you get "straight A's" in the classroom does not dictate your ability to perform as a therapist in the field. Stay on top things, don't wait to the last minute or you will be overwhelmed. What I can tell you is everyday I am grateful that I chose this profession. Go for it, you won't regret it.

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RR in Newington, Connecticut

65 months ago

Thank you. How long have you been a PTA and what was your profession before you chose PTA school?

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mechanical man in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

65 months ago

RR in Newington, Connecticut said: I want to know exactly how challenging is PTA school? I work full time on third shift so my days are open to attend classes, but are the classes so difficult that I will have to quit my job. Also, how selective are these PTA programs. I have a B.S. in Psych and I'm 25, what are the usual demographics of applicants to these programs.

Yes,it is true c's get degrees, however, it would be very stressful and then if you are getting c's does that mean you are taking it all in, what if you get d's. I was in aprogram in Florida that was 60% on line. If we just had our own work to do it wuld have been a lot easier, but we had to read other students blogs and assignments and critique them in order to get participation points.
in addition to your own postings. We had to do powerpoint presentations etc. I would go to the school and talk to the administrators and other students to see how involved the assignments are and time etc. Our program was very demanding as I only worked a few hours a day and had my family responsibilities. Fortunately, I didn't have to work too much, but I was up many times until 3am. If your program is not computer based you should have a easier time, but if you are working nights I woud see how many hours you need to put in. I had many job offers before I even graduated, and I was the only student working part-time as a PTA / student in my class.

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Natalie's Dad in Orlando, Florida

65 months ago

mechanical man in Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: Yes,it is true c's get degrees, however, it would be very stressful and then if you are getting c's does that mean you are taking it all in, what if you get d's. I was in aprogram in Florida that was 60% on line. If we just had our own work to do it wuld have been a lot easier, but we had to read other students blogs and assignments and critique them in order to get participation points.
in addition to your own postings. We had to do powerpoint presentations etc. I would go to the school and talk to the administrators and other students to see how involved the assignments are and time etc. Our program was very demanding as I only worked a few hours a day and had my family responsibilities. Fortunately, I didn't have to work too much, but I was up many times until 3am. If your program is not computer based you should have a easier time, but if you are working nights I woud see how many hours you need to put in. I had many job offers before I even graduated, and I was the only student working part-time as a PTA / student in my class.

Just wondering if you went to Keiser University? I just enrolled in the Keiser campus here in Orlando for OTA. I am currently doing prereqs but I am thinking of switching over to PTA, any advice or suggestions?

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Sandra in Houston, Texas

58 months ago

I wanted to get into the PTA program here in Houston. Does anybody know how the program is at HCC.

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Rosa in Chevy Chase, Maryland

56 months ago

mechanical man in Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: Yes,it is true c's get degrees, however, it would be very stressful and then if you are getting c's does that mean you are taking it all in, what if you get d's. I was in aprogram in Florida that was 60% on line. If we just had our own work to do it wuld have been a lot easier, but we had to read other students blogs and assignments and critique them in order to get participation points.
in addition to your own postings. We had to do powerpoint presentations etc. I would go to the school and talk to the administrators and other students to see how involved the assignments are and time etc. Our program was very demanding as I only worked a few hours a day and had my family responsibilities. Fortunately, I didn't have to work too much, but I was up many times until 3am. If your program is not computer based you should have a easier time, but if you are working nights I woud see how many hours you need to put in. I had many job offers before I even graduated, and I was the only student working part-time as a PTA / student in my class.

Can you share the link of your online program? Thanks!

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Aphex in Falls Church, Virginia

52 months ago

Dumpy in Orlando, Florida said: I took a sloppy dump on campus with corn in it. They kicked me out of the program, what the!

Sorry to hear that. This is actually very common in PTA programs. For instance, almost 50% of my classmates who started the program with me in Fall 2009 are already out of the program. That sucks big time! I don't know why they make it so hard for people to graduate, sometimes in purpose. I think PTA programs graduation rates are much less that those of DPT programs.

I hope you will have better luck next year,
Ashraf

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anton in San Antonio, Texas

52 months ago

Dumpy in Orlando, Florida said: I took a sloppy dump on campus with corn in it. They kicked me out of the program, what the!

your are an idiot and should be banned from this forum!!!!

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luma398 in Graniteville, South Carolina

35 months ago

What's the difficulty level of most of the physical therapy assistant classes...I start the Fall of 2012...

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PTAwannabe in Whittier, California

34 months ago

I'm in a program here in honolulu. It used to be 3 semesters one you finish the year of prereqs but now
It is 2 semesters of 17 hrs each plus the summer of clinicals which I forget the credit hrs. It is very intense and you need 75% to pass on everything. The competency exams can be tough and so is the material. I'm currently taking 8 classes this semester and my days are running together. So much reading and projects that I fid it difficult to go in and practice the procedures we learned the day before (traction, modalities, ther-x, massage, mobility, etc...) I have a kid and a wife which makes this difficult but at least it's a year but I'm lucky I don't have to work for the next two semesters. Just know what your getting in to. It will be lots of work. Best of luck.

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John Marston in Brewster, New York

34 months ago

It's hard. Hard as poop that's been festering in a dehydrated colon for a month. I just got my bachelor's in kinesiology at a school in upstate NY and that was a joke compared to this. This is easily twice as hard. My situation is slightly more unique though, I have a commute to and from school which is an hour and fifteen minutes one way which wastes an incredible amount of time and in addition to the core PTA classes, I'm taking Anatomy 1 again because they wouldnt accept the one's i took at my 4yr school. I thought it would be easy and that because i just did undergrad it'd be cake. I'm in my first semester and darn, I was so wrong. I have absolutely no life and am never, ever ahead of my work. Just barely staying on top of it. So annoying get to see my gf on the weekend after studying of course for 4-6hrs and repeat the process over. Most depressed I've ever been because of the monotony.

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DaveMan in Groton, Massachusetts

34 months ago

I'm probably planning on doing the bridge program after graduating as a PTA since I already have a bachelors complete so it's just every other weekend classes to get the DPT done. Do you think after getting the PTA degree and working as a PTA for at least a year I will know most of the stuff they teach in the DPT program? Or is the DPT program much harder?

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PTA in Weston, Florida

34 months ago

Which bridge program has every other weekend classes to get the DPT? You're in Massachusetts, how are you planning on attending this bridge program? The only bridge program that I know of is outside of Mass. Right?

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DaveMan in Groton, Massachusetts

33 months ago

Yes you are right. I think there is only one bridge program in the US now as far as I know. It is University of Findlay which is in Ohio. If I get accepted I will either move there or fly in 2 weekends a month. I talked to school and they said many people fly in from all across the US. You are required to work as a PTA for at least on year and also to work as a PTA throughout the whole program. So it may end up being costly, but at least I can work a lot.

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Reed L in Mesa, Arizona

32 months ago

luma398 in Graniteville, South Carolina said: What's the difficulty level of most of the physical therapy assistant classes...I start the Fall of 2012...

Associate degree? My foot! I am near the end of second semester of a PTA program and this is more challenging than any university course I've ever taken. The courses are time consuming and intense. If you learn fast and dedicate the time needed to study you will pass (77% is passing)no problem. Having said that, be aware that testing for the modality courses (physical agents, ther-ex, etc.) is very tough! I wish I would have known the manner of testing skill competencies before I started the program. It is pass/fail roleplay scenarios with a mock patient, and an instructor observing. They give you a second chance but if you fail twice you are out of the program! Some students have. Long lists of contraindications, precautions, and parameters must be commited to memory. It really becomes difficult about the tenth skill comp when all previous test material is fair game and details start mixing in your mind. We all know the smartest therapists, doctors, and even instructors can't recite all those details at will. Thats why they act responsibly and use notes and computer programs during treatment or lecture. I've endured situations more stressful than this but none that caused such lingering dread, even during sleep. It feels like Russian roulette with my life- like no matter how well prepared I try to be I still may fail. Skill competency testing is really making school a less than positive experience. Our instructors are good and try their best to help us. Now you know what you are up against if your program is similar to mine. Best wishes.

P.S. I'd like to know from any other SPTA's or PTA's if their experience was similar and how they managed to get through it all. Thanks.

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Ann in Rockville, Maryland

32 months ago

I am about to retake a practical, my second chance, and I feel exactly as you do. I am just practicing until my arms fall off, and studying for finals while I am at the treadmill. Good luck.

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PTAgirl in Shingle Springs, California

32 months ago

I am an SPTA in the second year and have made it through 5 practicals so far. Yes, all similar to yours with pass / fail, but you get 3 tries. I think 2 the second year.

I have spent about 2 or so weeks practicing. I would write it all out with my partner, then we would begin to practice.....every day. It's very tiring but you have to do it. I figure when you reach the point where you can't practice anymore, you're ready. But I still get nervous every time. It's great to practice with other people, but especially with your partner to feel as comfortable as possible during the exam.

Ann, I also study at the gym. I like the elliptical. Good luck on finals and your practical. you can do it!!

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Mohawk G in Redondo Beach, California

32 months ago

yes it's hard, yes you will have no social life for the duration of the program, yes it's worth it. In my class of 32 we had 2-4 people get "held back" due to getting a D or F in a class, which ultimately added a year to their program.

It all depends on your experience/knowledge prior to starting the program, I had 2+ years of outpatient aide experience and a BS in kinesiology, I felt most of the course material came pretty easy for me and I didn't need to study a ridiculous amount. I was able to work full-time the 1st semester, and part-time thereafter once our clinical rotations started (though not while on rotation, but keep in mind at my school (Cerritos College) we had to attend night classes even when on rotation- DPT's don't even have to do that)
On the flip-side I had classmates who didn't work AT ALL, were being supported by spouses/families, they would study a ton and still not get an A.

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JoesLove in Jacksonville, North Carolina

30 months ago

I'm originally from south florida, since hubby joined Marines I am in NC. We plan to move back to broward as he wants to be a doctor and I finally decided on PTA. I can already tell the PTA program will be challenging, which I had figured. But through high school and some online classes I took I always did well on tests and always had honors classes and maintained A/B grades, pretty much throughout all of my years of schooling. So I guess what I'm getting at is if Im dedicated I at least have a decent chance of passing, right? Haha. Any advice or info would be great. I was considering Broward College, now I am thinking of Keiser University, and doing my pre reqs here in NC. The positive thing is I won't have to work much as hubby will be using GI bill and getting paid a good amount per month to attend school, so I can focus more on studying.

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laboror of the word in Franklin Square, New York

30 months ago

RR in Newington, Connecticut said: I want to know exactly how challenging is PTA school? I work full time on third shift so my days are open to attend classes, but are the classes so difficult that I will have to quit my job. Also, how selective are these PTA programs. I have a B.S. in Psych and I'm 25, what are the usual demographics of applicants to these programs.

the classes are really demanding some courses may be easy to you if you are hands on type person but the degree of knowledge you must learn and the anatomy of the body is very stressful and sometimes be overwhelming. i would say that you might have to quit your job if you do not have time to study and you are gonna need as much sleep as possible

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PTA in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

27 months ago

DaveMan in Groton, Massachusetts said: Yes you are right. I think there is only one bridge program in the US now as far as I know. It is University of Findlay which is in Ohio. If I get accepted I will either move there or fly in 2 weekends a month. I talked to school and they said many people fly in from all across the US. You are required to work as a PTA for at least on year and also to work as a PTA throughout the whole program. So it may end up being costly, but at least I can work a lot.

There are three, Findlay in Ohio, Neuman in Phili and Loma Linda in California

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PTA in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

27 months ago

Aphex in Falls Church, Virginia said: Sorry to hear that. This is actually very common in PTA programs. For instance, almost 50% of my classmates who started the program with me in Fall 2009 are already out of the program. That sucks big time! I don't know why they make it so hard for people to graduate, sometimes in purpose. I think PTA programs graduation rates are much less that those of DPT programs.

I hope you will have better luck next year,
Ashraf

You need to have the knowledge base and critical thinking ability to treat very sick people! If you can't pass the class, you certainly will not be able to pass the license exam ....75% to pass @ $450 each attempt.

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SPTA no more in Galena, Missouri

26 months ago

It is every bit as hard or harder than above posts have stated. Think of it as a right of passage. SPTA no more..class of 2012

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Lynn in Mishawaka, Indiana

26 months ago

Kat 1962 in Fort Myers, Florida said: PTA school is challenging but I graduated with students who worked full time throughout the program. Yes, they struggled but they got through it. Remember, "C's get Degrees". The true measure is how you perform as a therapist once you are out in the field. Just because you get "straight A's" in the classroom does not dictate your ability to perform as a therapist in the field. Stay on top things, don't wait to the last minute or you will be overwhelmed. What I can tell you is everyday I am grateful that I chose this profession. Go for it, you won't regret it.

I have heard that you can not fall below 78% on your total grade once in the program. so I do not see how a c would fly

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Valleyval in Phoenix, Arizona

26 months ago

Lynn in Mishawaka, Indiana said: I have heard that you can not fall below 78% on your total grade once in the program. so I do not see how a c would fly

Of course that depends on the school you're attending

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Anonymous in Houston, Texas

19 months ago

Sandra in Houston, Texas said: I wanted to get into the PTA program here in Houston. Does anybody know how the program is at HCC.

Off the charts hard. Run don't walk away from this program. I have a B.S. degree from a very good university and it was a cake walk in comparison. Professors on a major power trip. I think getting my masters degree would have been easier. Unless you enjoy torture, find another program. PTA career is good however.

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PTA student in Chesterfield, Missouri

17 months ago

Obvious answer is... it depends on the program and how long the program is. If it's a 2 year program, it will be moderate in my opinion if you have no experience in PT. If it's like my program and it's 1 year, then it's going to be difficult and very fast paced, but for me it's not hard at all. Main reason it's not hard at all is because I'm an LMT certified in kinesio taping and worked as Rehab Tech in a hospital setting for a year prior to starting the program. So to me it's a bunch of busy work and getting "proof" of what I already know. So I will be completing an entire PTA program in 1 year while working full time as a massage therapist (30 hours a week for LMT's). Right now I'm 6 weeks into the program and I love it, but I can't wait until I'm a PTA so I can work a 40 hour work week and have a life.

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kay100 in ny, New York

15 months ago

PTAwannabe in Whittier, California said: I'm in a program here in honolulu. It used to be 3 semesters one you finish the year of prereqs but now
It is 2 semesters of 17 hrs each plus the summer of clinicals which I forget the credit hrs. It is very intense and you need 75% to pass on everything. The competency exams can be tough and so is the material. I'm currently taking 8 classes this semester and my days are running together. So much reading and projects that I fid it difficult to go in and practice the procedures we learned the day before (traction, modalities, ther-x, massage, mobility, etc...) I have a kid and a wife which makes this difficult but at least it's a year but I'm lucky I don't have to work for the next two semesters. Just know what your getting in to. It will be lots of work. Best of luck.

Hope you got thru the program!

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kay100 in ny, New York

15 months ago

John Marston in Brewster, New York said: It's hard. Hard as poop that's been festering in a dehydrated colon for a month. I just got my bachelor's in kinesiology at a school in upstate NY and that was a joke compared to this. This is easily twice as hard. My situation is slightly more unique though, I have a commute to and from school which is an hour and fifteen minutes one way which wastes an incredible amount of time and in addition to the core PTA classes, I'm taking Anatomy 1 again because they wouldnt accept the one's i took at my 4yr school. I thought it would be easy and that because i just did undergrad it'd be cake. I'm in my first semester and darn, I was so wrong. I have absolutely no life and am never, ever ahead of my work. Just barely staying on top of it. So annoying get to see my gf on the weekend after studying of course for 4-6hrs and repeat the process over. Most depressed I've ever been because of the monotony.

John I wonder if that was an exaggeration. Anyhow I hope you made it. Travel does take a lot of time out of your day.

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jrmavc in you'll never know, California

15 months ago

Kat 1962 in Fort Myers, Florida said: PTA school is challenging but I graduated with students who worked full time throughout the program. Yes, they struggled but they got through it. Remember, "C's get Degrees". The true measure is how you perform as a therapist once you are out in the field. Just because you get "straight A's" in the classroom does not dictate your ability to perform as a therapist in the field. Stay on top things, don't wait to the last minute or you will be overwhelmed. What I can tell you is everyday I am grateful that I chose this profession. Go for it, you won't regret it.

Very inspiring words. I hope I get accepted Fall 2013.

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Cindy in Florida

15 months ago

SouthFlaKeiserPTA in Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: i go to keiser right now. finishing my last pre req and then there will be a waiting period till i get in the program. ive been told, they only accept 25 people every 3 months. keiser has a long waiting list and is a lot more expensive than BC but keisers program is only 1 year long as apposed to 1.5 or 2 years at BC or Miami Dade, which means keisers PTA program is a lot harder and more accelerated.

Florida Gateway in Lake City is a 13 month program now... BUT they only accept 25 students a year... BUT is less costly that Kieser...

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cyclist in Asheville, North Carolina

14 months ago

I am an SPTA in NC, I will be finished in less than a year.PTA school is mega difficult, makes most other 4 year degrees seem easy. I have never studied this hard in my life.The tests and practicals are brutal, and there is a ton of writing involved.You basically give up your life for 15 months,suck it up and live your life with your nose in a book or practicing for practicums.You have to be prepared to make school the center of your life, and trying to work is not an option(if you want to suffer, you can try to work).

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kay100 in ny, New York

14 months ago

cyclist in Asheville, North Carolina said: I am an SPTA in NC, I will be finished in less than a year.PTA school is mega difficult, makes most other 4 year degrees seem easy. I have never studied this hard in my life.The tests and practicals are brutal, and there is a ton of writing involved.You basically give up your life for 15 months,suck it up and live your life with your nose in a book or practicing for practicums.You have to be prepared to make school the center of your life, and trying to work is not an option(if you want to suffer, you can try to work).

That is relative. Those who have a nursing background for instance may not find it that hard. Those with a science background may not find it that hard. Based on the grad rates of schools, it is doable.

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jrmavc in you'll never know, California

14 months ago

kay100 in ny, New York said: That is relative. Those who have a nursing background for instance may not find it that hard. Those with a science background may not find it that hard. Based on the grad rates of schools, it is doable.

I agree. I am a respiratory therapist and hopeful PTA student for FaLl 2013.

I'm not saying it's going to be a cake walk, but I think it's doable. I had a really easy time with Anatomy, Physiology and Microbiology. I aced all 3 and they're very detailed.

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