PTA Students Ace Their Board Exams

Professor Dr. Kristen Lounsbery works with students in the Physical Therapist Assistant lab in Ferrante Hall.

Dr. Cynthia Warner was reminded of the impact OCC’s Physical Therapist Assistant program has had on the Central New York community when she had three family members in three separate nursing homes simultaneously. “They were all being taken care of by my graduates. To see how careful and kind they were, I knew they were in good hands. They were so caring. That was the ultimate pride to see all of them doing so well.”

Dr. Warner is Program Coordinator of OCC’s Physical Therapist Assistant program which is celebrating an outstanding achievement. All 20 students who took the boards, known as the National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam, earned a passing grade. That perfect rate is well above the national average of 84.6 percent. “I’m so proud of what our students have accomplished.”

Dr. Cynthia Warner

Every student in OCC’s Physical Therapist Assistant program who has wanted to go directly into the workforce has done so within six months of earning their degree or passing the exam. They have found employment in nursing homes, hospitals or private practices. Physical Therapist Assistant’s always work under the supervision of a Physical Therapist. They help patients regain range of motion, strength, and above all, confidence in their body to take them where they need to go.

The future job market for graduates of OCC’s program is strong. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says the overall employment of physical therapist assistants and aides is projected to grow 30 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy is expected to increase in response to the healthcare needs of an older population and individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.

Best of all, the learning environment within the program is outstanding. “Our students range in age from right out of high school to in their 50s. It’s a very diverse group. They study together, have great conversations with each other and get very close.”

OCC is currently accepting applications for the Physical Therapist Assistant major for the fall 2019 semester. The application window closes March 1. You can learn more about the Physical Therapist Assistant program at this link.