Are There Physical Therapy Programs In New Mexico?

If you are looking for physical therapy programs in New Mexico, then your best bet is to look at the San Juan College, or the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Physical therapy programs in New Mexico provide both classroom training and clinical hands-on experience. Physical therapist programs include basic science courses, neuroanatomy, manifestations of disease, biomechanics, human growth and development, examination techniques, and therapeutic procedures. The Physical therapy programs in New Mexico supplement their classroom training with externships or supervised clinical experiences.

The University Of New Mexico, Albuquerque

The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque is one of the two institutions that offer physical therapy programs in New Mexico. Their program provides graduates with the knowledge required in order to take up a position as entry-level Physical Therapist Assistants.

The physical therapy programs in New Mexico include subjects such as kinesiology, anatomy and physiology, and patient communication. Students are taught to communicate confidently and professionally, critical thinking and information management skills, and to perform a range of physical therapy services.

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) associate degree offered culminates in an Associate of Science degree and can be completed in approximately two years. The program includes a mixture of classroom and lab practice as well as practical clinical experience via an externship.

Upon successful completion of this program, successful graduates will be eligible to sit for the PTA licensure exam, the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).

For further information on physical therapy programs in New Mexico, contact a Carrington College Enrolment Services Representative.

San Juan College

The San Juan College is another of the institutions that offers physical therapy programs in New Mexico. It offers two Physical Therapy Assistant programs, one on-campus and one online. The college has a very modern PTA lab, which is equipped with traction tables, massage tables, electric high-low tables, plinths, and mat tables. The college also offers state-of-the-art equipment, including paraffin bath, Hoyer lift, ultrasound, hot pack, cold pack; tilt table, and electrotherapy machines.

The PTA program features some unique features, including us of the new state-of-the-art library, 100% access to computerized databases throughout the campus, and the integration of multi-media technology. One feature that is absolutely unique to San Juan is the inclusion of a concentrated, extensive neuro-developmental study and exposure to the Native American culture.

Admission

These physical therapy programs in New Mexico give preference to New Mexico residents who have the right qualifications, and applicants are required to complete certain prerequisite courses with a minimum of a 2.75 GPA or above. A higher GPA is preferable, due to the number of applicants that apply every year and the fact that only 20 students are admitted per year to each of the programs, making a total of 80 students in the first and second year for both programs.

Applicants for both programs must meet the same requirements for admission. Applicants are evaluated on a variety of criteria, including:

  • A minimum college GPA of 2.75
  • Completion of the Accuplacer (ACC)
  • Completion of required courses as per the SJC policy
  • San Juan College application
  • Registration as an SJC student
  • PTA Program application
  • A minimum of 5 Clinical Observation hours that are not site specific
  • Completion of the Admissions Exam
  • 3 Professional letters of recommendation
  • Copies of college transcriptsPhysical Therapy Programs In New Mexico

Prerequisite Courses

Prospective students of physical therapy programs in New Mexico are required to complete certain prerequisite courses before they are granted admittance to either of the PTA programs:

  • ENGL 111 Freshman Composition 3
  • MATH 114 Mathematics for Health Careers 3
  • BIOL 112 Human Body Structure and Function 4
  • HITP 110 Medical Terminology 3
  • COMM 111 Interpersonal Communication 3
  • ENGL 218 Advanced Technical Composition** 3
  • PSYC 120 Introduction to Psychology 3
  • PTAP 116 Musculoskeletal Focus *** 3
  • Total Prerequisite Credits 25

Students must also ensure that evidence of a higher-level math class, freshman composition and other general education hours (total 25 credits) are on record at the end of the fall semester for which they have applied. This requirement is the same for either program.

On-Campus Program

The PTA program at San Juan is 80 weeks long, and the curriculum for the on-campus program is split up over 5 semesters. The curriculum is formatted in a way that allows a high school graduate to begin studying immediately after graduation. The sessions are designed in such a way that they allow for maximum flexibility for summer students.

Curriculum

The program consists of the following courses, for a total of 49 credits.

  • PTAP 110 Introduction to PTA 3
  • PTAP 125 Clinical Kinesiology 4
  • PTAP 130 Pathophysiology 3
  • PTAP 150 Procedures I 4
  • PTAP 140 Therapeutic Exercise 3
  • PTAP 160 Procedures II 3
  • PTAP 210 Principles of Rehabilitation 5
  • PTAP 230 Full-Time (minimum 40 hours/week) Clinical Externship (Acute/Inpatient) 4
  • PTAP 250 Procedures III 4
  • PTAP 260 Seminar 2
  • PTAP 270 Full-Time (minimum 40 hours/week) Clinical Externship (Outpatient) 7
  • PTAP 290 Full-Time (minimum 40 hours/week) Clinical Externship (Rehabilitation) 7
  • Total PTA Program Credits 49

Students doing the on-campus program will complete their first full-time (40 hours per week) of four weeks in an acute setting, before the end of the third semester. They will also complete a further 2 full-time externships of seven weeks each in a rehabilitation and outpatient setting during the fourth semester. San Juan College has approximately 125 clinical sites, with current contracts, across the United States.

Online Program

Students that apply to the online/expansion program will receive all of the lecture material in an online format. Lab reviews and examinations are held on-campus, for approximately one to two weeks per lab class.

Students in the distance education program need access to the internet, preferably DSL; otherwise the requirements for entry into this program are the same as those for the on-campus program. The only difference is that students in the online program have two years in which to complete the technical program.

The online program requires that students are at the college one week per PTA lab course (denoted with an L), which will be towards the end of each semester.

Curriculum

  • PTAP 110 Introduction to PTA 3
  • PTAP 125 Clinical Kinesiology (L) 4
  • PTAP 130 Pathophysiology 3
  • PTAP 150 Procedures I (L) 4
  • PTAP 140 Therapeutic Exercise (L) 3
  • PTAP 160 Procedures II (L) 3
  • PTAP 210 Principles of Rehabilitation (L) 5
  • PTAP 260 Seminar 2
  • PTAP 230 Full-Time (minimum 40 hours/week) Clinical Externship (Acute/Inpatient) 4
  • PTAP 250 Procedures III (L) 4
  • PTAP 270 Full-Time (minimum 40 hours/week) Clinical Externship (Outpatient) 7
  • PTAP 290 Full-Time (minimum 40 hours/week) Clinical Externship (Rehabilitation) 7
  • Total PTA Program Credits 49

Students in the online program will complete the first 4-week full-time externship in the fifth semester and a further two 7-week fulltime externships in the sixth semester.

All externships may be completed near the student’s place of residence as long as a clinical contract can be established between the physical therapy facility that is used and the San Juan College.

Clinical externships may not be done at a facility at which students either are or have been previously employed.

Tuition, Fees and Books

Tuition for either of the PTA programs for an in-state student is $47 per credit hour; this includes a $6 per credit hour student general education fee
Tuition for either of the PTA programs for an out-of-state student is $115 per credit hour; this includes a $10 per credit hour student general education fee
Textbooks for either program cost approximately$1,045
The cost of the entire program, which includes all books, tuition, and program and student fees for an on-campus in-state student, is $5,123; and out-of-state on-campus student will pay $10,155 for the same
All on-campus students are required to pay $600 for program fees, which can be paid over four semesters
The in-state distance education students will pay $6,023 for the entire program, including all books, tuition, and program and student fees, and an out-of-state distance education student will pay $11,055
All distance education students are required to pay $1,500 for program fees, which can be paid over six semesters

Financial Aid

Although the physical therapy programs in New Mexico that are offered by the San Juan College are affordable for most, the college offers access to financial aid on a per-need and merit basis. Contact the Office of Financial Aid at 505/566-3323 for further information.

Each fall semester, one student is granted a $500 endowment scholarship, which is specific to the PTA program.

Licensure

Upon successfully graduating from either program, students are qualified to sit for the national computerized licensing exam.

Outcomes

Based on a three-year average, the outcomes are excellent, with 81% of students admitted to both programs completing and graduating from the program, and 90% of the graduates pass the national licensing exam. 100% of those that sought employment were employed.

Job Outlook

New Mexico currently has approximately 330 working physical therapy assistants, and this figure is projected to climb to approximately 420 by the year 2018.

Accreditation

Both the on-campus Physical Therapist Assistant program and the online Physical Therapist Assistant program are fully accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

More information regarding either of these physical therapy programs in New Mexico can be accessed on the website or you can contact the interim Program Director, Dr. Therese Millis, DPT, via e-mail or you can contact her by phone on (505) 566-3013.

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