Program FAQs

Where can I learn more about the PTA program at LWTech?

Online PTA information sessions are offered approximately once a month during the quarter and are listed on the PTA homepage.

When does the PTA program start?

The PTA program begins one cohort a year annually in Fall quarter.

How do I apply to the PTA program?

Application information is available on the PTA homepage.

When is the application deadline?

Check the Physical Therapist Assistant homepage for deadline information. 

What does the program cost?

See Estimated PTA Program Costs.

When does the program meet? Is it part-time or full-time?

The program is a full-time, daytime program with both morning and afternoon courses held Monday - Friday. Clinical affiliation courses require 40 hour/week rotations off-campus in community facilities.

Where is the program located?

Lecture and laboratory courses are held on the Kirkland campus of Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Clinical affiliations occur in a variety of off-campus settings and can range from Tacoma to Bellingham. Students are expected to provide their own reliable transportation to attend clinical affiliations and other off-campus experiences.

What do PTAs do?

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs), provide physical therapy treatments under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist (PT). PTAs help people of all ages who have health-related conditions which limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in daily life. You can learn more by checking out the Career Path for Physical Therapist Assistants.

Where do PTAs work?

The PTA program prepares students to provide entry-level, skilled patient care in a variety of settings. Some of these settings may include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, sports medicine clinics, and school-based systems. You can learn more by checking out the Career Path for Physical Therapist Assistants.

What will I learn in the PTA program?

The PTA program teaches students how to provide physical therapy treatment interventions and associated data collection skills under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

The PTA program teaches physical therapy treatments for patients with problems of the musculoskeletal (bones, muscles, ligaments), neurologic (nerves, brain, spinal cord), cardiac (heart), pulmonary (lungs), and/or integumentary (skin) systems.

  • Some of the physical therapy treatment interventions taught in the PTA program include:
  • Functional training (e.g. gait training, wheelchair management, and developmental activities)

  • Posture awareness and body mechanics training

  • Training patients and caregivers how to use and care for prosthetics and orthotics during functional activities

  • Training patients and caregivers how to use and care for assistive and adaptive devices

  • Therapeutic exercises for mobility, strength, balance and coordination

  • Breathing exercises and coughing techniques

  • Manual therapy (passive range of motion, therapeutic massage)

  • Physical agents (heat, ultrasound, cryotherapy, compression therapies, athermal agents, hydrotherapy, traction, and biofeedback)

  • Electrotherapeutic agents (electrical stimulation)

  • Wound management (application and removal of dressings or agents)

The PTA program also teaches skills which support physical therapy treatments and a career as a physical therapist assistant including:

  • Communication

  • Safety

  • Understanding and implementing the plan of care

  • Patient education

  • Documentation

  • Information for billing and reimbursement

  • Social responsibility

  • Individual and cultural differences

  • Behavior and conduct

  • Career development

All programs at LWTech aim to provide students with workplace skills that include Communication, Critical Thinking, Intercultural Appreciation, Teamwork, and Technical and Information Literacy. Each program includes coursework which teaches and assesses student performance in these global outcomes.

What about licensure after graduation?

Graduates of the LWTech PTA program are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for the Physical Therapist Assistant and to apply for state licensure. Licensure is required in the state of Washington and in most states in the United States.