HOUSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE
                           BASIC PATIENT CARE SKILLS
                                   PTHA 1305
                                  FALL Semester

Donna Bakke, PTA
713- 718-7390 - HCCS Voice Mail & Office Number
Office Hours: Thursday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Conferences can be made BY APPOINTMENT during these times
Beverly Newman, PT
Jan Myers, PT
Course Location and Time: TBA

This course is designed as an introduction to those measurement and basic procedures associated
with the field of Physical Therapy which the students will encounter during their first clinical
experiences. This course will cover a time period of sixteen (16) weeks, during which the class will
meet six (6) hours weekly for a total of 96 hours of instruction. Students will enroll for the complete
period of instruction.

This course is open to students registered in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, who have
successfully completed Anatomy and Physiology I (BIOL 2401), Introduction to Psychology (PSYC
2301), or their equivalent. The student must successfully complete this course in order to continue
his/her studies in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

The application of basic patient handling, functional skills, communication, and selected data
collection techniques.

Describe principles and techniques of patient handling and functional skills; demonstrate
performance of basic patient handling and functional skills; demonstrate selected data collection
techniques; and demonstrate communication skills.

Course includes the application of basic patient handling skills for: draping, short and long term
positioning; functional skills for: transfers, sterile technique, and passive range of motion;
measurement techniques for vital signs; communication skills demonstrated during lab exams. To
enhance competency, students are videotaped in the performance of skills.

3 Semester hours (2 hours lecture, 4 hours laboratory)

1. Principles and Techniques of Patient Care , Fourth Edition
     Frank M. Pierson, MA, PT

2. Basic Rehabilitation Techniques, Fourth Edition
    Robert Sine, M.D. et al

3. Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques, Fourth Edition
     Carolyn Kisner, MS, PT and Lynn Colby, MS, PT

4. Pressure Ulcer Treatment, Prediction & Prevention, US Dept of Health & Human Services
   On-line: www.AHRQ.gov and click on “Clinical Information”

5. Class Handouts


1.   4 mini DVD-RW discs
2.   Watch with a second hand
3.   Lab clothes: sport bra & loose shorts for women, loose shorts for men
4.   Gait belt
5.   Stethoscope (optional)
6.   Patient gown


The following four components of the PTA program the student must achieve a 75% grade in
EACH component to pass the course.

Component 1:            Lecture attendance: 75% grade
                        Students must attend 95% of all scheduled lectures to pass the course
Component 2:            Lab Attendance: 75% grade
                        Students must attend 95% of all scheduled lab classes to pass the course
Component 3:            Theory Tests:
                        75% average grade of all tests as weighted per syllabus
Component 4:            Lab Tests:
                        75% average grade of all tests as weighted per syllabus

Calculating the Attendance Grade
Lecture attendance will be based on 15 scheduled class meetings
       8 points will be deducted for each tardy or leaving early
       13 points will be deducted for each absence

Lab attendance will be based on 16 scheduled lab class meetings
        8 points will be deducted for each tardy or leaving early
        13 points will be deducted for each absence

TARDY: A tardy is defined as a student arriving after the official start of class up to a maximum of
15 minutes. Three tardies will be equivalent to one absence. A student is considered absent if
arriving more than 15 minutes late.

LEAVING EARLY: Leaving early is defined as leaving less than 15 minutes before the official
end of class or as dismissed by the instructor. Three leaving early will be equivalent to one absence.
A student who leaves class more than 15 minutes early will be considered absent..

WRITTEN WARNING: A written warning will be issued for the first offense of tardiness or
leaving early, as defined; the next offense will be penalized as defined in the attendance

Students must sign in with their full name and time arrived on the daily role in order to receive credit
for attendance. This is considered a legal document and only the corresponding student may sign in
and verify their time of arrival. Students will be marked tardy by the instructor if not signed in at the
official start of class.

This course is designed as preparation for entering the professional workforce. A student MUST call
the Instructor if they know that they will be late or absent. This is considered an ethical work
practice and will be graded accordingly on Professional Performance Form, Generic Ability #1.

Prior approval must be granted by the instructor if a student needs to attend a lab section other than
the one to which he/she is assigned.



The material in this course will be taught by a combination of lecture, discussions, demonstrations,
and practice by the students on each other. Each student must experience a procedure as "the
patient" as well as apply the procedure to a fellow student as the SPTA. Students will be assigned
lab partners who will be rotated periodically throughout the course. At times, students will work in
larger groups. Students should be prepared for class by reading textbook materials appropriate to the
subject being taught prior to class. A student is not allowed to audiotape or videotape any portion of
the lecture or lab unless given specific approval by the instructor.


Textbooks, handouts, demonstration models, filming equipment, films, computerized programs,
overhead projectors, transparencies, chalkboard, and actual Physical Therapy equipment will be used
in this course. During tests, the lab will be set up like an actual Physical Therapy Department. No
instructional aids, especially actual P.T. equipment, may be used without permission of the


Each student will be treated as an individual with unique learning needs. Each student will be
checked on his/her skills by an instructor and additional help given during lab time, if needed. More
advanced students may be assigned as lab partners to those who need additional assistance. Study
groups are encouraged. Labs can be open upon request at other than classroom time for further
practice sessions during the weekday and depends on the availability of the lab. The instructor has
regular office hours for individual conferences.


Safety will be taught throughout the course during instruction on body mechanics, equipment usage,
patient assessment, and patient handling. Student performance is monitored during lab sessions by
instructors. Lab skills practice and lab tests will be stopped if students are in danger of injury to
themselves or others. Each student will be apprised of fire exits, extinguisher, disaster and fire drills.
 Equipment is calibrated and checked for electrical safety by an outside agency each year before the
section of the course on such equipment begins.


It is necessary for satisfactory course completion that each student demonstrate professionalism,
courtesy, enthusiasm, initiative, and compassion for his fellow students and instructors - these skills
are the basis for success in the Physical Therapy field. Behavior in the classroom and lab will be
reflected on the Professional Performance Forms and Outcome sheets.

This course can be considered a pre-employment course in basic Physical Therapy procedures. The
class will simulate as much as possible the actual working practices of a physical therapy
department. During the course, each student will have the opportunity to simulate working as a
physical therapist assistant and functioning as part of a physical therapy department.

In order to accomplish the above, during the lab, the lab will be considered to be a hospital Physical
Therapy department, each student will be considered to be a student PTA in the department, and
his/her lab partner is to be addressed as and considered to be a patient. The instructors will be the
supervising Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant and be considered the Clinical
Instructor in charge of the student. Strict adherence to this policy will assure success in completing
the required skills on the Professional Performance Form.

During lab, instructors will evaluate the performance of each student on the Outcome sheets based on
the following criteria:
        A. Was the student in appropriate lab clothing?
        B. Did the student pay attention to the lab demonstrations and discussion?
        C. Did the student practice skills during the entire time allotted for practice?
        D. Did the student demonstrate an attempt to use feedback from instructors and classmates
                to improve performance?
        E. Did the student ask questions to clarify the discussion, demonstration, or feedback given
                by the instructors?
Clean-up of the lab is everyone's responsibility. Work areas must be clean prior to leaving the lab.
All students must be responsible for adequate and sanitary work conditions in the lab. Students will
be assigned specific duties in the lab on a rotating basis.

Extra assignments or volunteer services which can benefit the students will be mentioned in class.
Students should volunteer to help the department as much as possible. Consider yourself as part of
the Physical Therapy Team. It takes being a team worker to be a successful Physical Therapist


Each student will be required to be in lab clothes at the beginning of lab. Lab clothes consist of:

For Females: Sport bra which exposes the shoulder and back, shorts which are loose enough to
expose the hip joint, and closed-toe gym shoes.
For Males: Shorts which are loose enough to expose the hip joint and closed-toe gym shoes.

“Cover-ups" must be worn over lab clothes.
Any student not in lab clothes will be required to wear a patient gown during lab practice.

Points will be deducted from Generic Ability #1 and Outcome sheets if not dressed for lab or not
prepared for lab prior to class.

ALL STUDENTS with loose long hair must pull it back or pin it up during lab. Fingernails MUST
be trimmed short so the nail cannot be felt when you rub the tips of the fingers along your arm.
When viewing the hand from the palm side, the nail should not be seen.
Lab coats may be worn during lab, and will be required on lab tests as the semester progresses. The
official date will be announced by the instructor.


As the SPTA during lab tests you must dress as if you were going to work in a clinic of hospital.

       1.   Lab coat
       2.   Conservative shirt/blouse, long pants
       3.   Flat shoes with closed toes & heels, non-skid soles
       4.   Short fingernails
       5.   No dangling earrings, or diamond rings
       6.   Long hair pulled back
       7.   Facial hair trimmed and neat

As Patient, you must have lab clothes as described in the syllabus.


     90 - 100 A
     80 - 89 B
     75 - 79 C
      0 - 74 F


For individual tests, grades will be rounded according to standard principles as follows:
       A grade of 74.4 will be recorded at 74
       A grade of 74.5 will be recorded at 75

You will receive computerized grade summary reports during the semester. The Grade Guide "grand
average" tabulation is a "weighted average" value. Your recorded grade will reflect the program
policy on score computation.


Students can be dismissed from the program for cheating on exams or assignments. Students
dismissed for cheating will not be allowed readmission to the PTA Program.

Please note that sharing information about how you or someone else performed on a lab test before
ALL lab tests are fully completed can be considered cheating.


Grades for the course will be determined as follows:

        40% Lab Exams
        40% Theory Exams
         4% MidTerm Generic Abilities
         4% Final Generic Abilities
         4% Outcome Sheets
         1% Conversion Assignment
         1% Vital Signs Homework
         2% Vital Signs Lab Activity
         4% Transfer Analysis Report



Lab exams are given after each section of the course as appropriate to check the student's progress of
learning. Lab exams assume any treatment is under the direction and supervision of the physical
therapist. Grading of the lab exam is based on the lab skill criteria sheet (Performance checklist).

Immediately following the lab test, the student will write a brief narrative (1/2/ to 1 page in length)
reviewing their lab test and address the following:
       1. What did the patient say or report to the SPTA.
       2. What did the SPTA do for the patient during the lab test procedure.
       3. What was the patient’s response to the treatment.
       4. What will be the next treatment based on the Physical Therapist’s Plan of Care.
       Does the PT need to be notified based on patient’s response?
Thoughtful completion will result in one bonus point on the lab test grade.

Each student's Lab Exam is filmed. The student has the option to review their filmed exam during a
conference between the instructor and the student. The DVD disc will be maintained by the Program
until the student graduates.

Completion of each lab exam must be at a minimal level of 75% compliance with the criteria
listed on the lab skill sheet(s) used for grading (Performance Checklist) and with 100%
compliance with critical skill criteria. Certain criteria are defined as Critical Skills and are noted
with one or more asterisks on the lab skill grading sheets. Critical Skills are those skills that
account for safety or effectiveness of intervention or data collection. The components of safe and
effective are discussed in lectures and lab presentations and demonstrations.

       Safe: patient is not harmed by the intervention or the manner in which the
       intervention is conducted. This may include checking for contraindications or
       precautions, checking the patient’s reaction to treatment, or using techniques of
       patient handling that maintain patient safety, such as locking a wheelchair or
       guarding a patient appropriately.

       Effective: treatment addresses the patient’s problem(s) within the plan of care and
       the student is able to accurately explain how the treatment accomplishes this or, if
       data collection, the data collection skill results in data that is reliable.

        Performance Failure: If a student scores below 75% with the skill criteria, he/she must
repeat a similar lab exam in order to show competency with the techniques. After the student
shows competency with the techniques, the original exam grade is retained on the student’s
record and is used to compute the exam average. The student will have one (1) opportunity to
show competency, and the repeated exam will be recorded on videotape or DVD. If unable to
show competency, the student will receive a grade of zero (0) for the failed exam.

        Critical Skill Failure: If a student does not meet the critical skill criteria on a lab exam,
he/she must repeat the exam to show competency with the critical skill. After successfully
repeating the exam, a grade of 70% will be recorded in the student’s record. The student has one
(1) opportunity to successfully repeat the exam, and the repeated exam will be recorded. If
unsuccessful, the student will receive a grade of zero (0) for the exam.

The student will be given an opportunity to remediate a failed lab exam or a critical skill failure. It is
the student's responsibility to schedule remediation with a PTA Instructor. Remediation can include
any or all of the following: reviewing the failed exam; reviewing class handouts, lecture notes and
books; completing extra assignments as given by the instructor; and attending tutorials. A time for
taking the repeat exam will be determined by the instructor.

If a student fails both the lab skill and critical skill portions of the lab exam, he/she must repeat a lab
exam over the same material from that section but not necessarily the same scenario and score
a minimum of 75%. The grade recorded after successful re-take, will be the lower of the two
original scores, whether that is lab skills or critical skill.

Procedures to assist the student to prepare for a successful repeated lab test include the following:

        1. The student must schedule time with a PTA instructor to review the videotape of the lab
        2. The student must review class handouts, lecture notes and books covering the material to
                be re-tested.
        3. The student must take responsibility to confer with a PTA instructor and clarify
        any concepts that are unclear.

The student will be assigned a time to retake the exam as determined by the instructor. The student
will have one (1) opportunity to show competency, and the repeated test is videotaped.

If a student fails both the lab test and critical skill portions of the lab exam, he/she must repeat a
similar entire exam, and follow the failed lab exam requirements outlined above.

A 75% average of all section lab tests must be attained in order for the student to successfully
complete the course.

NOTE: Should the student know in advance that he/she will be absent of the day of a lab exam,
arrangements can be made to take the exam prior to the scheduled date of the exam.


Written theory exams are given after each section of the course as appropriate to check the student's
progress in learning. If a student is absent on the day of a theory exam, the student should notify the
instructor with as much notice as possible PRIOR TO THE EXAM.

The student must attain a 75% average on all theory exams in order to pass the course. This
requirement must be met before any other course requirements are considered.

Each course is a building block for clinical practice. Students who demonstrate a strong knowledge
base are successful clinicians. To demonstrate competency, all tests in program courses must be
successfully completed with a grade of 75% or better. To determine grades, each test will count for a
certain percentage determined by the lead instructor for the course. All tests will be averaged to
determine if you have passed. Generic Abilities, Outcomes, and homework assignments will be
averaged after it is determined that you have a passing grade.

If students fail tests in a program course, they will be given one make up test for each test failed.
Students must complete the re-test with a 75% or better before the end of the course or as scheduled
by the instructor. The original test grades will be used for computing the test average. Students who
were unsuccessful with the re-tests but whose overall test average is 75% or better, even with a failed
exam, will receive a grade of Incomplete for the course. To clear the Incomplete grade, the student
will be required to re-test after the final but before the start of the next semester in order to continue
in the program. Students who cannot successfully re-test during the semester and whose overall
average is below 75% will fail the course and be dismissed from the program.

If the re-test is passed with a 75% or higher, the Incomplete grade will be changed to reflect the
student’s final average based on the original test grades. Re-test grades will not be used in averaging
the student’s final grade.


Since professional behavior is essential to a successful PTA, each student must comply with the
criteria listed on the Professional Performance Forms for Generic Abilities.

Individual conferences will be held to meet with your Clinical Instructor to discuss Generic Abilities
which are graded on the Professional Performance Form. It is your responsibility to schedule an
appointment with the assigned Clinical Instructor after completion of self assessment at MidTerm.
Late homework penalty policy will apply to all grading criteria for MidTerm & Final.

The grade will be based on the following criteria:
       2%      Skills as listed for Midterm indicators with comments by student
               Generic Ability Skills which need improvement will receive a 2 point deduction
       1%      Scheduling a midterm meeting with assigned Clinical Instructor
       1%      Attendance and participation in the discussion at the schedule meeting

        4%     Skills listed for Final indicators with comments by student
               Generic Ability Skills which have not improved from Midterm will receive a
               10 point deduction

The grades will be awarded according to the student's performance and be reflected in the final grade
at the end of the semester.

There will be strict adherence to the examination and quiz time. A student who arrives late will
sacrifice that portion of the total test taking time. Tests will be handed in/collected at the schedule


Homework will be assigned throughout the semester. Grading will be based on prompt completion
as well as the quality of the work. Assignments are to be done individually unless otherwise
specified. Five points are deducted for each day homework assignment is late.


Absence of a theory or lab exam results in a ten (10) point deduction from the earned grade. All
absences will be treated equally, regardless of the reason. The missed examination will be taken the
day the student returns to school. It is the responsibility of the student to seek out the lead instructor
and inform the instructor that he/she is present. The student should be ready to take the test that day.
 If the student fails to notify the lead instructor of his/her return to school, an additional five (5) point
penalty will be applied for each day of the week that the student returned to school and has not taken
the missed exam.


The last day for Administrative/Student withdrawal is (per HCC calendar). Any student not
withdrawn by (per HCC calendar). will receive the grade earned.

A detailed calendar of class meetings days and times, topics, reading assignments, and due dates
is given to students at the beginning of the semester.

      SCANS (Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills)

      A study was conducted for the Department of Labor by the American Society for Training and
      Development which identified the seven skills U.S. employers want most in entry level employees.
      These skills are motivation to learn, basic skills, communication, teamwork, critical thinking, career
      development, and leadership. The relationship between SCANS competencies and the objectives of
      PTHA 1305 are shown on the grid following the sections of the syllabus. The following SCANS
      skills will be emphasized.
                                      -Serves Clients/Customers
                                      -Teaches Others New Skills

      The Houston Community College System does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the
      recruitment and admission of students or the operation of any of its programs and activities. The
      designated office for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504
      of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the HCCS Office Access and Equity Office. Any student with a
      documented disability (e.g. physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange
      reasonable accommodations must contact the Disability Services Office at the respective college at
      the beginning of each semester. Faculty are authorized to provide only the accommodations
      requested by the Disability Support Services Office. Additional information regarding the process
      for obtaining accommodations for students and physical and mental disabilities may be obtained by
      contacting the Disability Support Services Counselor in Student Services at Coleman Campus, Dr.
      Raj Gupta at 713-718-7631 located in Room 340.

      The college will make its campuses and programs when viewed in their entirety, accessible to
      individuals with disabilities. Where it is impractical to modify a specific area to make it accessible,
      the college will provide an accessible alternative.

      For instructional accommodations the student should contact the HCCS Disability Support Services
      through the counseling office at least one month prior to the first day of class. Academic
      accommodations will be provided only after students have properly registered for services through
      designated disability services staff. Any student who anticipates difficulty in gaining access to a
      classroom should contact the center administrator at or before the time of registration.


The instructor reserves the right to modify the syllabus as needed during the semester. Any
modifications will be announced during class time.


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