MDCC - Technical Standards

Main Content Section

Minimum Technical Standards

Consistent with its mission and philosophy, the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program at Mississippi Delta Community College is committed to providing educational opportunities to students. The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is an approximate two-year program of study that prepares students to work within the practice of physical therapy under the supervision of a physical therapist. The PTA program prepares students to work within the practice of physical therapy under the supervision of a physical therapist. A major purpose of the PTA Program is to prepare graduates to assist physical therapists in healthcare settings to deliver physical therapy services in a safe, effective manner and to stimulate a lifelong commitment to continued professional development.

In addition, certain functional abilities are essential for the delivery of safe, effective therapeutic care. Therefore, the faculty has determined that the following technical standards and skills are requisite for admission, progression, and graduation from the Physical Therapist Assistant Program:

SPEAK AND EXPRESS Speak/understand the English language in order to provide/receive information and instructions from faculty, peers, patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare providers
READ Printed/handwritten data and information in English at level of competency required by program curriculum
UNDERSTAND AND INTERPRET All medical terminology/information and plans of care regarding patients to provide appropriate/competent care therein
FOLLOW DIRECTIONS Accurately/efficiently, seeking clarification as needed
WRITE/TYPE To produce legible, thorough, and grammatically correct handwritten or word-processed documents in the English language
INTERPERSONAL SKILLS To effectively/harmoniously work with faculty, peers, patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare providers regardless of personality, beliefs, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, physical and mental condition, etc

THINK CRITICALLY To identify/solve problems, identify cause/effect relationships, to apply reading, lecture, and laboratory information to case studies, and to employ effective teaching, learning, and test-taking strategies
COMPREHEND Relevant information regarding medical data and patient records, therapeutic interventions, indications and contraindications for interventions, human pathology, and professional literature
PRIORITIZE Events regarding patient care, safety, interventions, and documentation and other events necessary for accurate and productive employment sequencing/progression
CALCULATE To accurately collect and/or interpret patient information
MAKE CLINICAL DECISIONS To respond quickly/appropriately to changes in patient status, to analyze written, verbal and nonverbal data in order to make decisions to terminate, modify, progress and cancel interventions in order to act safely and ethically on the patient’s behalf
INTACT SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM MEMORY To accurately and quickly remember data from the chart and from other verbal, non-verbal, or written reports to provide safe and accurate care to the patient
THINK QUICKLY AND CLEARLY To execute all duties unimpaired by any condition or substance that alters mental processing, speed, or quality of thought processes or judgment

KNEEL OR STOOP FREELY To floor to adjust patient position or assist with equipment; inspect feet, apply shoes or prosthetics
KNEEL/HALF KNEEL/ CRAWL On an exercise table to assist with patient activities
REACH ABOVE HEAD In standing, to adjust and position equipment
LIFT/PULL/GUIDE/TRANSFER A patient of up to 150 lbs
LIFT/PULL/GUIDE/TRANSFER A patient of up to 250 lbs using a two-person technique
BEND/STAND/KNEEL/SIT/WALK/CRAWL >90 NO REST To administer emergency care (CPR); to perform lab activities and administer proper patient interventions
GUIDE/RESIST AND ASSIST All persons during transfers, ambulation, interventions, exercises; must use arms, legs and trunk to provide the stabilization necessary for a patient during therapy
PUSH/PULL Large equipment, including, but not limited to wheelchairs, stretchers, tilt tables, etc.
WALK For extended periods of time to all areas of a hospital, facility, or patient home, etc.
CLIMB Stairs and inclines while safely guarding an unstable patient
BILATERAL DEXTERITY To perform all aspects of safe treatment, equipment adjustments, documentation, etc.
COORDINATION To perform different tasks with different limbs simultaneously
SPEED AND AGILITY To protect a patient from falling during all aspects of patient care
ASSUME A WIDE BASE OF SUPPORT; KEEP BALANCE To guard, maintain, and correct balance of an unstable patient on level surfaces, unlevel surfaces, inclines/declines, stairs, etc.
PERFORM All aspects of patient care/office/treatment area maintenance with proper body mechanics
WORK CAPACITY To perform all essential skills and standards to complete a full-time employment schedule as well as full-time clinical experiences required for program completion.

DEPTH PERCEPTION For judging distance/surface/level changes during gait
SEE (WITH OR WITHOUT CORRECTIVE LENSES) Must see facial expressions/non-verbal communication, skin, discriminate color, patterns of movement, the environment up to 20’, instructions and parameters on equipment, detect small readings and calibrations
FEEL Must discriminate slight temperature differences, pulses, body segment contour, muscle tone, joint movement, sharp/dull & light touch/deep pressure sensations
HEAR Soft voices, call systems, alarms, timers, vital organ and vascular sounds through a stethoscope
SMELL To detect odors related to patient assessment and treatment/treatment area safety
POSITION/MOVEMENT/ BALANCE SENSATION To safely know where your body is at all times

FLEXIBILITY To adjust to an ever-changing environment
COMPASSION To respect/show empathy for patients and caregivers in regards to personality, beliefs, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, physical and mental condition, etc.
COOPERATION To work as a member of a team and develop positive and effective relationships with faculty, peers, patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare providers
RECOGNIZE LIMITATIONS To request assistance when needed and to seek/accept correction and constructive suggestions; utilize resources effectively and assume responsibility for actions and personal/professional development
TOLERANCE For faculty, peers, patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare providers; for clinical situations that may have potential exposure to wounds, incontinence, and other bodily fluids or pathogens
WILLINGNESS To abide by all professional, institutional, program, and clinical policies and procedures, and to put forth the best personal and professional effort in the classroom, laboratory, clinic, and community
POSITIVE ATTITUDE To demonstrate initiative, enthusiasm, etc.
WORK ETHIC To attend class, lab, and clinic sessions promptly as assigned; to prepare for class, lab, and clinic sessions adequately and submit assignments on time
STRESS MANAGEMENT To be able to cope in a fast-paced technical program
PLANNING AHEAD To be adequately prepared for class, lab, and clinical
SELF CARE  To maintain generally good health and hygiene required of all individuals associated with the program

*Individuals who feel they are unable to meet these technical standards will be offered career counseling upon request.