Technical Standards for Physical Therapy Practice

Physical therapists seek to:

  1. Prevent injury, impairments, functional limitations and disability;
  2. Maintain and promote fitness, health, and quality of life; and
  3. Ensure availability, accessibility, and excellence in the delivery of physical therapy services to the patient/client.

In order to successfully complete the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, applicants must be able to meet the technical requirements of the program. The technical standards for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program include the ability to:

  1. Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences in the basic and clinical sciences, including but not limited to, information conveyed through laboratory dissection, physiologic and physical demonstrations.
  2. Acquire information from written documents and interpret information presented in images from paper, videos, transparencies and slides.
  3. Accurately elicit from a patient or client a history and other pertinent information required to adequately and effectively assess and manage the patient or client’s condition.
  4. Select and perform examinations, including, but not limited to, assistive and adaptive devices; anthropometric characteristics; arousal and attention; aerobic capacity and endurance; community and work integration and reintegration; environmental, home and work barriers; gait, locomotion and balance; ergonomics and body mechanics; integumentary integrity; joint integrity and mobility; motor function, muscle performance, neuromotor development and sensory integration; pain; posture; prosthetic requirements; range of motion; reflex integrity; self-care capability; sensory integrity; ventilation, respiration and circulation.
  5. Use and interpret information from diagnostic maneuvers (observation, palpation, auscultation) in the course of conducting a comprehensive physical therapy examination.
  6. Make clinical judgments based on the data obtained in a comprehensive examination and evaluation of the patient/client to determine a physical therapy diagnosis.
  7. Synthesize information from the evaluation and other documented sources to formulate a plan of care.
  8. Problem solve and think critically to judge which theory, and/or strategy of assessment and intervention is most appropriate for facilitating the attainment of the highest level of function for individual patients and clients.
  9. Perform therapeutic interventions including, but not limited to, therapeutic exercise, patient or client related instruction, functional training, manual therapy, airway clearance, wound management, electrotherapuetic modalities, physical and mechanical modalities and the prescription, application and fabrication of assistive/supportive/protective devices.
  10. Communicate effectively and efficiently with faculty, patients, clients, families and all members of the health care team about a patient’s condition.
  11. Develop effective and appropriate relationships with patients, clients, colleagues, coworkers and relevant others.
  12. Practice in a safe manner at all times and respond appropriately to emergencies and urgencies.
  13. Provide patient-related and client-related education and consultation to identify problems, recommend solutions or produce a specified outcome on behalf of a patient or client.
  14. Impart information or skills, and instruct peers or other health care providers, in activities related to physical therapy.
  15. Read and interpret professional literature in evaluating the efficacy of new and established interventions and technologies.
  16. Demonstrate personal integrity that is essential to the practice of Physical Therapy.
  17. Adapt and function effectively under the various circumstances and rigors which are inherent in the clinical practice of physical therapy.