Pathophysiology for the PTA Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Location

Allied Health Building, Room 122

Office Hours

Tuesday 1:30-3:00 pm or by appointment


Course Information

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PTHA-1321-001 Pathophysiology for the PTA


Prerequisites: PTHA 1260, PTHA 1301, PTHA 1405, PTHA 1413, PTHA 1431, PTHA 2301, and PTHA 2409. Corequisites: PTHA 2431 and PTHA 2435.

Course Description

Study of the pathophysiology of diseases/conditions encountered in physical therapy.

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Department Expectations

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(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


Pathology for the Physical Therapist Assistant, 2nd Edition by Goodman & Fuller

Recognizing & Reporting Red Flags for the Physical Therapist Assistant by Goodman & Marshall


Laptop computer

Student Performance

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This course is designed to give the student introductory knowledge of the pathophysiology of diseases/conditions commonly encountered by the physical therapist assistant in the clinic.


A. Goals: Given the course textbooks, personal notes, handouts, and other material, the student should:

 1. Describe the etiology, pathogenesis, signs/symptoms, and treatments of selected diseases/conditions.

 2. Identify the impact of the pathologies in physical therapy.

The student will know that these goals have been successfully completed if he or she earns a final grade of 74.5% or higher as evaluated by the faculty of the department.

B. Objectives:

1. Identify the terminology of pathophysiology including etiology, pathogenesis, incidence, and prevalence.

2. Describe normal and abnormal cellular adaptations.

3. Recognize the etiology, signs, symptoms, treatment, and physical therapy implications for diseases and disorders of the following body systems

a. Cardiovascular system

b. Endocrine and metabolic systems

c. Gastrointestinal system

d. Genital and reproductive systems

e. Hepatic and biliary systems

f. Immune system

g. Integumentary system

h. Lymphatic system

i. Musculoskeletal system

j. Nervous system

k. Respiratory system

l. Renal and urologic systems

4. Compare the difference between signs and symptoms.

5. Identify common medical and surgical conditions, which occur throughout the lifespan, commonly seen in physical therapy.

6. Identify normal and abnormal lab values, including their clinical significance for physical therapy treatment.

7. Review health records, including lab values and diagnostic tests, prior to determining appropriate treatments from within the physical therapy plan of care for a patient case study.

8. Adjust interventions within the plan of care in response to patient status and clinical indicators for a patient case study related to a specific pathology, its effect on the human body, and physical therapy treatment.

9. Describe the effects of bed rest and immobilization on various organ systems.

10. Outline a patient's impairments, activity, and participation limitations utilizing the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

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Expected Student Behavior

Students shall read the Amarillo College "Student Rights and Responsibilities" information with emphasis placed on the Academic Information, Student Conduct and Responsibilities, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Education/Prevention Program sections.

Students will not use cell phones in the classroom, unless the instructor allows use for a specific activity. All such devices must be placed on silent mode and kept stored. If a student expects that there may be some type of emergency situation, the student should inform the instructor prior to the beginning of class. Unauthorized use of cell phones in class will result in the student being asked to leave the class and being counted absent for the lecture/lab.

Student participation is a required element during Lecture and Lab classes. If a student refuses to participate actively or is disengaged in a discussion or activity, the student may be asked to leave class and will be counted absent for the day. Students do have the right to refuse the application of any specific treatment or activity for medical or personal reasons. This does not constitute a reason for absence from class. Alternate activities or assignments will be required.
Students in the PTA Program are expected to dress conservatively and professionally, as expected in the clinic.  Upon request of the faculty, the student will attend class in professional dress including black, navy, or khaki pants and cobalt blue polo shirt with the PTA logo. Clean, closed-toe, closed-heel shoes with non-slip soles in good condition should be worn during all class and lab activities. Amarillo College Badge/ID's should also be worn during all off-campus class and clinical activities.
Jewelry and cologne are to be kept to a minimum. All jewelry should be conservative and limited to a minimal amount. The student's professional dress is subject to approval by the course instructor. If professional dress code is not followed, the student may not be able to participate in the scheduled activity, may receive a grade penalty for the day, and/or may not have the option to makeup the assignment. This decision is at the discretion of the instructor. 
Courtesy and respect are expected between the student and instructor. Students are expected to be attentive to instructor, guests, and other students during presentations. Students are required to extend highest respect to patients/clients/others when making off-campus contact. Lack of regard to this expectation at any time by any single student or group of students may result in immediate dismissal of the student/s from the situation by the instructor, guest lecturer, or patient/client/other.

Dishonesty in the classroom or in completing any assignment will not be tolerated. Students demonstrating academic dishonesty as defined in the "Student Rights and Responsibilities" publication will receive a grade of "F" in the course and will be subject to all PTA Program policies regarding course failure.

Student Grievance: A student who has an issue with the course or course instructor should make every attempt to resolve the problem with the course instructor. If that is not successful, the student may appeal the decision of the instructor to the program director, Allied Health Dean, Dean of Instruction, and the Amarillo College President - IN THAT ORDER.

Grading Criteria


Quizzes/Assignments/Attendance     5%      

Pathology Project                               20%                                 

Lecture Exams                                   55%

Final Exam                                          20%


A = 100 - 92.0
B = 91.9 - 84.0
C = 83.9 - 76.0
F = 75.9 - 0

Note: A grade of C or better is required to complete the PTA major.

Assignments and quizzes will be completed prior to or within the classroom meeting. If the submission is not acceptable for a check mark, the submission will be returned to the student until an acceptable submission meets the approval of the instructor. The student will have 1 week from the time that the original submission is returned to submit an acceptable submission. After 1 week, a 5-point deduction is applied to the attendance assignment grade.

The lecture exam grades will be averaged to make the exam portion (55%) of the final grade. The lowest lecture exam grade MAY OR MAY NOT be dropped for the calculation of the lecture exam portion of the final grade. This is solely at the discretion of the instructor. The final exam is comprehensive for the semester and is not eligible to be dropped.

Note: A grade of C or better is required to complete the PTA major.

Any student scoring a 79 or lower on an exam is REQUIRED to contact the instructor to discuss remediation. IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO SCHEDULE THIS SESSION. The student will be required to schedule and attend tutoring at one of AC’s tutoring centers or with available peer tutors. Locations for tutoring can be found at The required number of tutoring sessions will be determined at the discretion of the instructor. The student will be required to bring verification of attendance at tutoring to the instructor.

MAKE-UP POLICY: There will be NO make-ups on quizzes or final exam.  Absence for an exam results in a five-point deduction from the earned grade.  All absences (tardiness) will be treated equally, regardless of the reason. The make-up exam may vary in format from the original examination/application. The student should expect to take the make-up exam on the day the student returns to class, unless otherwise notified by the instructor.


 Regular attendance is necessary for satisfactory achievement. Therefore, the student is responsible for class attendance. The student is expected to be seated and prepared to begin class at the designated time. At the beginning of each lecture and lab, attendance will be recorded by the instructor or a sign-in sheet will be available. 

Each absence in lecture or lab classes results in a grade of "0" for attendance in the gradebook; likewise, a tardy (more than 10 minutes) results in a grade of "50" in the gradebook. Timely attendance results in a "100." Habitual late arrivals (more than 3) below the 10-minute penalty mark, extended breaks during class, or leaving class early are disruptive to the class and will be addressed by the instructor and can result in additional penalties.  The attendance grade is calculated in the course grade as weighted by the instructor.

Full attendance of class time is also expected. A student will be counted as "absent" if the student is out of class more than 20 minutes of a class time. For example, if in any given day a student arrives 15 minutes late to class, takes an extra 5 minutes for break and leaves class for 5 minutes for any reason (phone calls, appointments, bathroom breaks, illness), that is considered an "absence" for the day. This type of absence counts in the total number of absences resulting in lowering of the final course grade.

If a student is asked to leave a class due to disruption or lack of participation, the student will be counted absent for that entire class.

The rules above apply to all unplanned and unexcused absences. Prior approval of absence and approval of excused absence are solely at the discretion of the faculty based on the circumstances and reasons for absence. Written validation is required for any absence that is considered excused and exempt from this policy.  Excused absences are allowed in the following circumstances: campus-directed quarantine through the health services of AC, personal illness supported by a primary health care provider's note or excuse, and death or funeral within immediate family. Other circumstances may be considered for approval upon submission of a written request by the student. This will be determined by an ad hoc committee of the 3 faculty members. 

Following an absence, the student is responsible for obtaining missed notes, assignments, copies of handouts, etc. from classmates. The student is also responsible for obtaining any needed clarification of missed information from the course instructor.

The purpose of the remote access to class is directed toward the person placed in quarantine or person with personal illness validated by documentation from a primary health care provider with full opportunities to complete quizzes and assignments due for that class period. Other students who are absent but do not meet the criteria for excused may participate in the class remotely but will obtain a "0" for any assignment or quiz during that session. 

When participating in an online virtual class, the student should be in a lighted quiet space with minimal distractions, preferably at a desk or table. The student should be in appropriate clothing for the classroom. The student’s face should be visible on camera at all times with the microphone kept muted when verbal interaction is not required. Log in for class on time and limit chat messages to material that is relevant to the class.


PTHA 1321: Pathophysiology for the PTA

48 Contact Hours

Lecture Monday and Thursday 11:30 am-1:00 pm

Week #


Reading Assignment

Week 1

Medical Terminology Review/Pre-Test

Project Assignment

Red and Yellow Flags

Chapter 1 Introduction to Pathophysiology

Chapters 1, 2, and 4 in Pathology for the PTA

Chapter 1 in Recognizing and Reporting Red Flags for the PTA

Week 2

Chapter 1 in Red Flags Recognizing and Reporting Red Flags

Chapter 2 Problems Involving Multiple Systems

Chapter 3 in Pathology for the PTA
Week 3

Chapter 3 Injury, Inflammation, and Healing

Chapter 4 The Immune System

Review above chapters.
Week 4 Exam 1 - Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Pathology and Chapter 1 in Recognizing and Reporting Red Flags

Chapter 5 in Pathology for the PTA

Chapter 2 in Recognizing and Reporting Red Flags for the PTA

Week 5

Chapter 5 Infectious Disease

Chapter 2 in Red Flags Pain Types and Viscerogenic Pain Patterns

Chapters 6 and 7 in Pathology for the PTA
Week 6

Chapter 6 Oncology

Chapter 7 Integumentary System

Chapters 8 in Pathology for the PTA

Chapter 3 in Recognizing and Reporting Red Flags for the PTA

Week 7

Chapter 3 in Red Flags Recognizing, Documenting, and Reporting Red Flags

Chapter 8 Endocrine and Metabolic System

Review above chapters.

Chapter 14 in Pathology for the PTA

Week 8

Exam 2 - Chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8  in Pathology for the PTA and Chapters 2 and 3 in Recognizing and Reporting Red Flags

Patho Project 1st Submission Items 1-13

Chapter 14 Genetic and Developmental Disorders

Chapters 9,10, and 11 in Pathology for the PTA
Week 9 Spring Break  
Week 10

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Week 11    
Week 12

Exam 3

Patho Project Last 15 Items (Meningitis through the end)

Week 13    
Week 14    
Week 15    
Week 16 Completed Patho Project due May 5th 11:59 pm  

Week 17           Final Exam

The instructor retains the right to make changes/adjustments in the course schedule based on class performance and needs.

Additional Information

This is a 3 credit hour course offered by the Physical Therapist Assistant department.

This course meets Monday and Thursday from 11:30 am-1:00 pm and uses lecture, discussion, case scenarios, and problem-based learning activities.

If a student receives a failing grade on an exam, the student must attend a tutorial session for the class.  The student will not be allowed to take any future exam/practical in the course until they complete the tutorial session.  It is the student’s responsibility to schedule the tutorials with the instructor.  As previously stated, tutorials are mandatory if a student has failed a practical or exam but will be optional for all other students in the course.


Syllabus Created on:

01/17/22 9:50 PM

Last Edited on:

03/10/22 12:11 PM