Department of Physical Therapy
Performance requirements describe the aptitudes and abilities that physical therapy students must possess in order to complete the didactic and clinical components of the DPT curriculum. Attainment of acceptable performance levels are judged by academic and clinical faculty, examinations and other assessment tools.
If a student cannot demonstrate the following skills and abilities, it is the responsibility of the student to request an appropriate accommodation. The University will provide reasonable accommodations, which may include accommodations that do not fundamentally alter the nature of the program offered and do not impose undue hardship, such as those that are unduly costly or are disruptive to the educational process.
The student must demonstrate the following abilities:
- Receive, interpret, remember, reproduce and use information in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains of learning to solve problems and generate new ways of processing or categorizing information as listed in course objectives.
- Perform a physical therapy examination including analysis of physiologic, biomechanical, behavioral, cultural, and environmental factors in a timely manner, consistent with the norms of clinical settings.
- Use examination findings to execute a plan of care in a timely manner, appropriate to the problems identified consistent with the acceptable norms of clinical settings.
- Get to lecture, lab and clinical locations, and move within rooms as necessary to change groups, partners and work stations.
- Physically maneuver in required clinical settings to accomplish assigned tasks.
- Maneuver another person's body parts to effectively perform examination and treatment techniques.
- Manipulate common tools used for screening and examination tests, e.g., sphygmomanometer, goniometer, cotton balls, safety pins, reflex hammer.
- Safely and effectively guide, facilitate, inhibit and resist movement and motor patterns through physical facilitation and inhibition techniques (including the ability to give urgent verbal feedback).
- Safely manipulate another person's body in transfers, gait, positioning, exercise, and mobilization techniques.
- Manipulate examination and intervention equipment and safely and accurately apply to patients.
- Manipulate bolsters, pillows, plinths, mats, gait assistive devices, and other supports or chairs to aide in positioning, moving, or treating a patient safely and effectively.
- Competently perform and supervise cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) using guidelines issued by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.
Fine Motor Skills
- Legibly record/document examinations, patient care notes, referrals, etc. in standard medical charts in clinical settings in a timely manner and consistent with the acceptable norms of the clinical setting.
- Legibly record thoughts for written assignments and tests.
- Sense changes in an individual's muscle tone, skin quality, joint play, kinesthesia, and temperature to gather accurate objective information in a timely manner and sense that individual's response to environmental changes and treatment.
- Safely apply and adjust therapeutic modalities.
- Use a telephone.
Visual acuity to:
- Receive visual information from classmates, faculty, patients, e.g., movement, posture, body mechanics, and gait necessary for comparison to normal standards for purposes of examination and evaluation of movement dysfunctions.
- Receive visual information from treatment environment, e.g., dials on modalities and monitors, assistive devices, furniture, flooring, structures, etc.
- Effectively communicate to other students, faculty, patients, peers, staff and personnel to ask questions, explain conditions and procedures, teach home programs, and for safety in a timely manner and within the acceptable norms of academic and clinical settings.
- Receive and interpret written communication in both academic and clinical settings in a timely manner.
- Receive and send verbal communication in life threatening situations in a timely manner and within acceptable norms of clinical settings.
- Demonstrate appropriate affective behaviors and mental attitudes in order not to jeopardize the emotional, physical, mental, and behavioral safety of clients and other individuals with whom they interact in the academic and clinical settings.
- Be in compliance with the ethical standards of the American Physical Therapy Association.
- Sustain the mental and emotional rigors of a demanding educational program in physical therapy which includes academic and clinical components that occur within set time constraints.
- Acknowledge and respect individual values and opinions in order to foster harmonious working relationships with colleagues, peers, and patients.
The Requirements listed above are based on the skills identified in the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, 2nd ed. Physical Therapy 2001; 81:9-744. Reviewed and adopted by the Physical Therapy Department at Thomas Jefferson University, September 2006.