Essential Functions: Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant students at Madison College must be able to demonstrate critical, logical and analytical thinking while also possessing motor, auditory and visual skills that enable them to meet program objectives and perform job duties required by the profession.

Disability Act Statement: Madison College complies with all provisions of the American with Disabilities Act and makes reasonable accommodations upon request for qualified individuals. If you believe you may need accommodations to assist you in performing the functions listed below, please contact the Disability Resources Services (DRS) office at (608) 246-6716 or (800) 322-6282 ext. 6716 (deaf students via Relay 711) or email.

Observation Skills:

  • Visual ability to observe a patient's response to treatment, read or set parameters of measuring devices or physical therapy equipment, observe and assess the environment
  • Auditory ability to recognize and respond to patient's, physician's and coworker's voices, equipment timers and alarms
  • Use equipment to assess blood pressure, pulse rate and breath sounds
  • Tactile ability to palpate surface anatomy, take pulses, detect skin temperature and adjust physical therapy equipment

Communication Skills:

  • Communicate accurately in English, written and oral, with faculty, patients, physicians, coworkers and family members using appropriate terminology 
  • Ability to recognize, interpret and respond to nonverbal behavior of self and others

Motor Skills:

  • Ability to safely transfer a 150 lb. patient from bed to wheelchair with minimal assistance
  • Ability to walk safely with patients and provide gait training with and without assistive devices
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs. and carry 25 lbs.
  • Motor control necessary to adjust knobs on physical therapy equipment, perform manual therapy techniques, adjust equipment such as wheelchairs, and utilize physical therapy equipment such as goniometers, grip gauges and free weights
  • Ability to obtain and maintain CPR certification for the Professional Caregiver
  • Ability to use proper body mechanics for all skills related to physical therapy
  • Ability to apply universal precautions when rendering physical therapy treatment
  • Motor control to provide for the patient's safety in all physical therapy activities
  • Possess the endurance to perform 40-hour work weeks during clinical education courses