Physical Therapy Technician Technical Standards
All individuals, including persons with
disabilities, who wish to participate in the
physical therapy assistant program, must be able to
perform specific technical functions with or
without reasonable accommodation.
The following information outlines the requirements,
abilities, and behavioral characteristics necessary for admission, continued
participation, and completion of the physical therapy technician program at Harford
Community College (HCC). Students should consult with the non-credit allied
health coordinator to discuss any individual situation that may prevent his or
her ability to meet the admission criteria or the essential technical standards.
Requests for reasonable accommodations will be considered. It is ultimately the
student’s responsibility to meet these essential qualifications for
participation in the program.
To meet the requirements for admission, the applicant
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Possess a minimum of a high school diploma or a GED.
- Review the program technical standards and ask questions if unfamiliar with
the required activities or functions.
- Decide if he or she has any limitations that may restrict or interfere with
the satisfactory performance of any of the requirements.
- Successfully complete prerequisite courses such as, but not limited to,
HIPAA Training, Healthcare Job Market Preparation, and Healthcare Provider CPR.
- Indicate willingness to practice direct care skills in a laboratory setting
by role-playing both the phyical therapy technician and the patient/client.
- Recognize the potential for exposure to blood borne pathogens, ionizing
radiation, and potentially hazardous materials.
Any individual who is unable or unwilling to meet
the following technical standards in the
classroom, lab, and clinical area will be unable
to participate in the program.
- Visual—Able to observe, monitor, and/or assess client, and read fine
print on monitors, devices, and gauges.
to hear and understand faculty, staff, peers, clients, families, and healthcare
workers; interpret conversations; and assess/monitor clients.
- Read written instructions.
- Acquire information from documents such as charts, radiographs, computer
images, and other modes of delivery.
- See and discriminate between varieties of visual equipment alarms.
- Observe demonstrations and patients/clients close up and at a distance
of up to 30 feet away to learn
skills and gather patient/client data such as, but not limited to, observing
a patients/client's facial expressions, gait, appearance, posture, and other
Smell—Able to tolerate unpleasant odors related to human
waste, secretions, infections, etc.
- Communicate and interact
with faculty, staff, peers, clients, families, and healthcare workers
from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
- Follow verbal instructions.
- Detect and discriminate
between sounds of normal conversation.
- Hear sounds of a variety of equipment alarms including, but not
limited to, bed/chair alarms and signaling devices (call bells).
Mobility—Possess the mobility and strength to move freely
in the office and support/move clients.
Motor Skills (fine and gross)—Perform multiple motor tasks
simultaneously. Possess fine and gross motor skills sufficient to handle
equipment and provide safe and effective client care; steady arm and hand movements
while manipulating objects or assisting clients.
Move quickly from place to place and perform direct care.
Support and transfer patients/residents safely from bed to
wheelchair, and modify patients/residents position in bed.
Lift and/or carry 50lbs. to waist level unassisted
Move objects in excess of 100 lbs. without
Stand/sit in an upright position for approximately
6 hours a day and walk long distances.
Reach above shoulder height to manipulate equipment.
Reach below waist level to manipulate equipment.
Tactile–Possess a keen sense of touch and the ability to interpret
tactile sensations to perceive information such as, but not limited to texture,
mobility, firmness, strength, and temperature.
- Perform CPR and other basic life support functions.
- Operate and manipulate instruments and equipment such as, but not
limited to, treadmills, exercise bikes, wheelchairs, and streachers.
- Push/pull beds; transport patients/clients.
- Lift and move patients/clients safely.
- Chart/write in medical records and record patient/client data.
Distinguish pulse rate, rhythm, and strength by palpation.
Detect changes in skin/tissue temperature and integrity.
Communication—Able to communicate in English, both orally and in
writing, with faculty, staff, peers, clients, families, and healthcare workers.
Intellectual and Cognitive Abilities—Able to learn, measure, calculate,
reason, analyze, integrate, synthesize, and use data/information.
- Speak English in a clear and easily understood manner.
- Write in a manner that is legible.
- Use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
- Read and comprehend written material in English at a minimum of the 9th
- Observe non-verbal communication.
Behavioral and Social Attributes—Possess the emotional health required
to use intellectual abilities fully such as exercising good judgment, promptly
completing all responsibilities associated with client care, and developing
mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with faculty, staff, peers,
clients, families, and healthcare workers.
- Interpret, problem solve, and demonstrate critical thinking.
- Comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships.
- Respond to emergencies by processing information consistently,
accurately, and quickly.
- Possess the ability to self-evaluate.
Ethical Standards—Demonstrate professional demeanor and behavior.
Perform in an ethical manner in all dealings with faculty, staff, peers,
clients, families, and healthcare workers regardless of race, color, religion,
sex, national origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, veteran,
sexual orientation, marital status, or any other status protected by law.
- Tolerate physically taxing workloads and function effectively under
- Adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to
function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of
- Demonstrate team playing, compassion, integrity, concern for others,
interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation during the education process.
- Recognize emergencies and be able to take the appropriate action.
- Accept constructive criticism and respond appropriately by modifying
Legal Standards—Submit to a criminal background check and/or drug
testing as required by policies of the college, clinical facility, and/or
regulatory agency. The student is responsible for any cost.