Performance Standard

Essential Functions:

Health Science programs require specific essential mental and physical functions, which must be possessed to be successful students. In general, all health programs require:

Visual acuity corrected to 20/20 and visual field perception to provide a safe environment for patients and coworkers.

Hearing acuity corrected to no greater than a 40 db hearing loss at 1000 and 2000 Hz.

Manual dexterity in fingering and grasping activities and the ability to perform repetitive fine motor actions.

Gross motor ability to reach, stoop, kneel, stand, walk, and sit.

Strength to lift at least 25 lbs. frequently and 50 lbs. occasionally.

Verbal and written communication skills adequate to exchange ideas, detailed information and instructions to others accurately through spoken or written word.
Each health program has requirements specific to success in that program and profession. Some may be more strenuous than the general functions provided here. The following guidelines are recommended as essential functions necessary for entry-level students involved in the field of Physical Therapy as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The approximate frequency of daily occurrence is also indicated.

  • Must be able to lift and/or maneuver a minimum of 50 pounds independently. (frequently) 
  • Must be able to assist in the maneuvering of up to 400 pounds. (occasionally) 
  • Must walk, stand, kneel, stoop, and lift. (consistently) 
  • Must be able to verbally communicate intent and instructions to others. (consistently) 
  • Must be able to communicate and document in written form. (consistently) 
  • Must be physically, mentally, and emotionally capable of controlling emergency situations. (occasionally) 
  • Must possess sufficient fine motor coordination, including grasping and fingering, for small object manipulation. (frequently) 
  • Must have sufficient cardiac, pulmonary, and musculoskeletal endurance. (consistently) 
  • Must perceive the nature of sounds with no less than a 40dB loss at 1,000 HZ and 2,000 HZ with or without correction. Must be able to receive detailed information through oral communication, and to make fine discrimination in sounds, such as auscultation of lung/heart sounds. (consistently) 
  • Must be capable of touching or being touched by another person or object. (consistently) 
  • Must be able to maintain biomechanical integrity among body parts to safely execute a push/pull, lift, transfer or sustain sitting and/or standing posture. (frequently) 
  • Must be able to use righting and equilibrium reactions to maintain balance during functional activities. (consistently) 
  • Must demonstrate topographic orientation. (consistently) 
  • Must demonstrate skill in multiple cognitive tasks including, but not limited to, critical thinking, generalization, attending, problem solving, recognition and sequencing. (consistently) 
  • Must demonstrate an awareness of others through the use of interpersonal skills, both verbally and non-verbally, including the recognition of gestures, facial expressions, voice quality and tone, questioning to clarify impressions and interacting in a manner that conveys respect and builds rapport. (consistently) 
  • Must possess coping skills, including the ability to recognize and manage stress and stress-related factors, accept constructive criticism, talk in front of groups of varying sizes, and use effective time management strategies. (consistently) 
  • Must be able to recognize, accept and follow the Standards of Ethical Conduct of the American Physical Therapy Association. (consistently)
  • Must be able to identify and promote a positive self-concept within self and others and be able to identify, maintain and balance societal functions or roles. (consistently) 
  • Must demonstrate self-control through modifying personal behaviors in response to feedback from environmental demands, constraints, personal aspirations, and feedback from others and to exhibit socially appropriate conduct that incorporates manners, personal space, eye contact, gestures, active listening, self-expression and cultural awareness. (consistently)

These Essential Functions are also available in the Director of Special Populations Office (256-352-8052). It is the responsibility of the student to review the standards and, if required, meet with the Director of Special Populations Office to discuss them.

Clinical Requirements

Immunizations: The administration and faculty of WSCC are committed to the health and welfare of students enrolled in allied health and nursing programs. Therefore, various immunization and medical requirements will be required following admission to the program. Please see the posted Physical Examination Form on the Health Division home page for additional details.

Insurance: All PTA Program courses require students to carry accident and malpractice insurance, which is available through the College. Personal health insurance is also required by the PTA program.

Background Checks: Clinical background checks are required for all students enrolled in the PTA Program.  The cost of these checks is the responsibility of the student. Refusal of a background check or failure to successfully complete the background check will result in program dismissal.  Full guidelines on the Background Check process are available from the College's website.

Travel: Students are required to travel to clinical sites, which may entail two (2) hours or more of driving. Housing, travel, parking, and meal expenses while at clinicals are the responsibility of the student.

Reporting of Infectious Disease: The Alabama Infected Health Care Worker Management Act (Public Law 201-141) mandates that any health care worker who performs invasive procedures and who is infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or Hepatitis B (HBV) virus shall notify the State Health Officer, or his designee, of the infection. All Health Science Division students are required to follow this policy.

Policy on Drug and Alcohol Testing of Students Enrolled in Health Professional Programs: Wallace State Community College supports the concept of a Drug Free Workplace (as defined by Public Law 100-690) and prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession or use of a controlled substance on any property owned, leased or controlled by the college or during any activity conducted, sponsored, authorized by or on behalf of Wallace State Community College. The college prohibits any form of on-campus (or campus affiliated) use and/or possession of illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, or alcoholic beverage, which is in direct violation of local, state and federal law by students. Students found to be involved in any of these activities are subject to disciplinary action. Education of Health Profession Students at Wallace State Community College requires collaboration between the College and clinical agencies. Education of these students cannot be complete without a quality clinical education component.

The College shares an obligation with the clinical agency to protect the agency’s patients to the extent reasonably possible from harm due to students who are under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol while in the clinical agency. The College wishes to ensure that the health and safety of students and patients are not compromised and that clinical affiliation agreements exist to provide students with quality clinical education experiences. Therefore, it is the policy of Wallace State Community College-Hanceville that students enrolling in health profession programs submit to drug testing. This testing can be announced or unannounced and will occur upon admission, for cause, or at random intervals. This policy only authorizes drug testing of students who voluntarily choose to enroll in health professional programs at the college. Any student enrolling in a health professional program will be required to submit to such testing. Educational programs and/or information will be provided to students enrolled in health professional programs to prevent drug abuse and to promote the personal well-being of the student. Full guidelines on the drug testing procedure are available from the College’s web site.

Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant

The PTA Program also adheres to the American Physical Therapy Association’s Standards for Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant as the expected minimal behaviors necessary for a Student Physical Therapist Assistant. To view those Standards, visit this link: