[BECKLEY, W. VA.] A cohort of 19 students has enrolled in the first class in the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at New River Community and Technical College. The students began their studies in Beckley, W. Va., on Jan. 13, 2014.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program is an intensive five-semester program designed to provide the student with the technical education required to sit for the Physical Therapist Assistant National Physical Therapy Examination.
Physical Therapist Assistants work under direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Their duties include instructing patients in exercises and activities of daily living; administering therapeutic modalities, utilization of assistive equipment, and other patient care procedures; communicating with patients, families, caregivers, physicians, and other health care workers; and documenting the patients' status.
The PTA program is being developed through a four-year, $3 million U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program (TAACCCT) grant awarded to New River in 2012. Program Director Gina Brown said that the program was awarded Candidate for Accreditation status in November, 2013, making it possible to start offering classes in January. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation.
New River is developing several other healthcare programs under the TAACCCT grant. An associate degree program in registered nursing is under development in Summersville under the direction of Shirley Misselwitz, RN.
An Occupational Therapy Assistant program is well underway in Beckley under the direction of Brenda Hambric. The program has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and will enroll the first class in the fall of 2014.
Diane Tyson was recently hired to develop and direct a Medical Laboratory Technician program that will also be based in Beckley.
For more information about programs at New River, visit www.newriver.edu, or call toll-free (866) 349-3739.