For Prospective Students
Physical therapists act as autonomous practitioners within a health care team in a wide variety of settings to preserve, develop, and restore not only optimum physical function, but also optimal wellness, fitness, and quality of life as it relates to movement and health. The physical therapist works to optimize function by alleviating pain, preventing injury, and restoring function after injury. Physical therapy interventions are designed to improve strength, coordination, range of motion, cardiovascular fitness, and other dimensions of physical movement. When normal motor behavior has been permanently damaged, the physical therapist helps the individual learn to adapt personal motor performance within the limitations of a permanent loss. Physical therapists evaluate individuals and groups, define relationships between pathologies, impairments, functional limitations and disability, and design interventions to maximize function and minimize disability. They also provide leadership in the health care system and education to the community.
Physical therapists function in a health care environment that is dynamic and changing. Indeed, the knowledge base underlying the practice of physical therapy is constantly evolving and growing. The physical therapy student must be grounded in the fundamental knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for the practice of physical therapy. The physical therapy student must also develop a strong foundation for understanding and using methods of discovering knowledge, evaluating new knowledge, and translating it into useful technology and practice. The therapist must understand the behavior of human beings in light of historical, social, and cultural studies. Professionals in any field should have the ability to think logically and analytically, communicate clearly and effectively, and be intellectually autonomous.
The University’s Physical Therapy Program embraces the value of written and oral articulation as a means of learning. Writing and oral communication are the foundations of communication in health care and education of the community.
Through written articulation and oral presentation of concepts the student clarifies understanding and learns means of expression that benefit not only the individual but the profession.
Physical therapists must learn to collaborate with other health care professionals to optimize both patient care and critical inquiry. Physical therapy and occupational therapy are closely allied disciplines. The University’s two programs, located in the same facility, strive to provide educational experiences so that students in each field will understand and respect the goals and skills of the other, and be prepared to function as independent practitioners collaborating within the health care environment.
To be eligible to obtain a University degree from the School of Physical Therapy, a student will be required to meet the minimum technical standards and competencies outlined in the program Essential Technical Standards document. It is the student’s responsibility to read, understand and ensure that he/she has these capacities.