PTA Technical Standards

Technical Standards for Performance

It is your responsibility to understand the duties, responsibilities, skills and abilities required of your chosen program/profession. In addition to the technical standards as described above, please review the information regarding the Physical Therapist Assistant profession on the O*NET website.

Behavioral and Social Skills

Students should: possess qualities of motivation, compassion, integrity, empathy, honesty and good interpersonal skills; have the ability to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, colleagues, and physicians; be able to tolerate physical and emotional stress as well as adapt and be flexible; maintain overall good health and self-care as to not jeopardize the health and safety of classmates, self, instructors and patients; maintain high ethical standards in compliance with the American Physical Therapy Association; demonstrate professional behaviors and a commitment to didactic, clinical and lifelong learning.


A PTA student must be able to communicate effectively using speech, reading, and writing. He/she should be able to observe clinical staff and patients in order to elicit information, perceive nonverbal communication, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and recognize and respond to an emergency situation. Students must be able to communicate quickly, effectively and efficiently in both oral and written English with classmates, instructors, patients, families, physicians and any other member of the healthcare team. Students must also have the ability to take part in lectures and discussions in didactic as well as clinical settings.

Motor and Functional Abilities

Students must be able to: freely move about the laboratory and clinic; move quickly in an emergency situation to protect the patient; stand for prolonged periods of time while in clinical experiences (up to 8 hours) as well as sit for prolonged periods during didactic work (2-10 hours); safely and effectively resist, guide, facilitate or inhibit movement of another person's body part(s) to illicit a desired position or outcome; lift or transfer another person's body weight using proper transfer techniques (30-100 lbs); detect changes in patient's muscle tone, skin quality, joint play, temperature and kinesthesia; engage in tasks requiring manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination as well as occasional pushing and pulling of up to 50 pounds, holding, manipulating, extending, rotating, kneeling, stooping and manually adjusting equipment found in a clinical setting.
Students must be able to see notes written on a whiteboard, videos and slide show/overhead presentations. They must be able to gather visual information from patients regarding movement, posture, body mechanics and gait to compare to normal standards as well as gather visual cues from the patient regarding tolerance of interventions.


Students should possess critical thinking and problem solving skills. They must be able to receive, interpret, remember and use information to solve problems as well as adjust patient's daily treatment within their plan of care when necessary. You will be required to have the knowledge to operate a variety of physical therapy modality and exercise equipment in a safe manner. Students must be able to comprehend information as well as accept constructive criticism and exercise sound judgment in the classroom and clinic.
In addition to the technical standards stated above, students must be able to successfully complete all required components of the curriculum consisting of tests and evaluations as well as clinical assessments.
It is the student's responsibility to notify the department if there is any reason they cannot meet these standards for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program with or without reasonable accommodation.


Requirements: Clinical facilities require that Nebraska Methodist College perform drug testing, and background checks on all students. Students are also required to show proof of required immunizations before they are allowed to participate in clinical experiences. Therefore, students will be required to have a background check performed and submit to drug screening before being allowed into clinical practice.