As a PTA student, part of your curriculum includes interactive/hands-on learning in a clinical atmosphere. Most of these will be taught at Pitt-Titusville, but there are also field trips to other locations for off campus labs. Listed below are just some of our labs.
In the prosthetics lab, the students learn how to properly care for patients with residual limbs due to amputation including correctly putting on, using and removing a prosthesis for optimal function. Students have the opportunity to learn from certified orthotists and prosthetists about the measurement, design, fabrication and manufacturing of orthotics and prosthetics by traveling to Union Orthotics and Prosthetics, a local firm specializing in this area.
Aquatics lab is a great opportunity for students to be introduced to the benefits and techniques of physical therapy performed in the water. Students travel to an aquatic therapy facility in a nearby city to experience aquatic therapy in a real-life setting.
The pediatric lab involves observing children through the stages of development. Even though pediatrics deals with children from birth through eighteen years of age, the students usually observes children from birth to the age of five in this lab.
In the traction lab, the students learn the different types of traction - manual, home units, and mechanical traction - in the laboratory setting. Application procedures for a variety of spinal diagnoses utilizing these devices and techniques are practiced.
In the e-stim lab, the students learn how to use "e-stim" with a variety of electrical stimulation units. Students develop an understanding of the theory of electrical stimulation then develop competency in the application of electrical stimulation for a variety of patient problems.
In the transfer lab, students master the various transfers used in the clinical setting on a daily basis as well as those used in emergency situations.
Bed Mobility Lab
In the bed mobility lab, students learn how to teach patients to be more energy efficient when moving about in bed.
The therapeutic exercises lab is an ongoing learning experience throughout the PTA curriculum starting with Principles & Procedures 1. The student learns how to use equipment as well as manual therapy techniques to develop specific movement patterns. The student will implement the most appropriate exercise to accomplish specific functional outcomes outlined in the patient's plan of care.
The students are given the opportunity to become familiar with the theories of ultrasound so they can explain its usage to the patient. The student then learns to administer ultrasound as written in the physical therapy plan of care.
Wound Care Lab
In the wound care lab, students learn to utilize different modalities for treatment as well as practice sterile and clean wound techniques. The lab also covers the various medications and wound dressings used in wound care.
Intermittent Compression Lab
In the intermittent compression lab, students learn the advantages of using an intermittent pneumatic compression pump to improve the body's fluid balance and circulation. They also develop the appropriate skills for wrapping and measuring for a custom compression garment.
In the goniometry lab, students master using an instrument called a goniometer to measure joint angles to determine their patient's range of motion.
Manual Muscle Testing Lab
In the manual muscle testing lab, students learn how to grade the strength of muscles and muscle groups.
In the balance lab, the students learn how to assess still and moving balance. Then they discover ways to improve balance for normal activities of daily living. In the stabilization lab, the students discover what it feels like to do activities with and without full trunk strength and learn specific techniques to teach their patients to increase trunk stabilization.
In the cryotherapy lab, the students learns the theories, therapeutic effects, and techniques of a variety cold application.
Superficial Thermal Agents Lab
In the superficial thermal agents lab, the students learn the theories, the therapeutic effects, and the techniques of heat and cold application.
The gait lab is presented every semester, each time from a different paradigm. Students first learn to recognize the components of normal gait patterns and progress to analyzing more complex patterns in future courses.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Lab
In the proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) lab, students learn different techniques that can inhibit, facilitate, or strengthen body responses.
Vital Signs Lab
One of the first labs the students will experience is the vital signs lab. The students will practice and learn to assess skin color/temperature, take blood pressures, heart rate and respiration rate.