Topics in Pathology for the PTA
I. Course Prefix/Number: PTA 220
Course Name: Topics in Pathology for the PTA
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course provides study of diseases and disorders most commonly seen in physical therapy practice.
IV. Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:
- Identify basic concepts of health and disease.
- Discuss the influences of social, economic, legislative and demographic factors in the delivery of healthcare and various problems and limitations of health care systems.
- Describe the process of differential diagnosis
- Identify normal body defenses against disease.
- Distinguish between immunity, immunodeficiency and autoimmunity.
- Compare various infectious diseases and apply knowledge of infection control principles to them.
- Differentiate between congenital and hereditary diseases.
- Describe common blood and lymphatic diseases.
- Describe cardiovascular, heart and respiratory diseases.
- Identify various types of environmental disease and the role of occupational medicine in prevention and treatment.
- Identify disorders of tissue growth and neoplasia and the ability to compare and contrast various treatment options.
- Describe disorders of the urinary and gastrointestinal systems and relate common symptoms to disease.
- Describe pathological processes of metabolic, endocrine and liver diseases.
- Describe the pathology of the nervous system and describe various neurological conditions and diseases including psychological and psychiatric disorders.
- Identify the pathologies of the musculoskeletal system.
- Apply knowledge of conditions and diseases studied in this course to physical therapy treatment in order to assess, modify or question the plan of care.
- Summarize information about frequently used medications in the treatment of the diseases and conditions studied in this course and describe how these medications and combinations of medications can affect physical therapy care.
- Utilize and evaluate appropriate resources of medical and scientific information including professional literature and internet sources in the study of pathology.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
A detailed course outline will be provided on the first of class.
VII. Methods of Instruction
- The primary modality for relay of information from instructor is lecture and discussion.
- Written quizzes, major examinations and homework assignments are included.
- All evaluation results are shared with each student on an individual or group basis soon following test administration to ensure comprehension of material.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
The student will be required to:
- Attend 3 hours lecture per week
- Students are responsible for all assigned readings and materials presented in class and all homework assignments are to be completed in a timely manner.
- Students are expected to actively participate in all class activities.
IX. Instructional Materials
- Required texts:
- Damjanov, Pathology for the Health Professional 3rd ed.
- O’Sullivan and Schmitz, Physical Rehabilitation, 6th ed.
or texts of comparable content.
- Recommended: Medical Dictionary
- Selected AUDIO‑VISUAL MATERIALS; hand‑outs.
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
May vary with individual instructor but may include:
- Quizzes, may be announced or unannounced.
- Midterm and Final Exams
- Homework assignments
- Class participation.
- Written exams will be announced. Make up exams will be given at the sole discretion of instructor.
Grades determined by following scale:
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.
Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.
For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.
Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.