Essential Function Requirements for Admission to and Progression in the Physical Therapy Program

Participation in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program requires that a candidate possess the ability to meet the Essential Function requirements of the program. Candidates who may not meet the Essential Functions must inform the PT Program Director, who will then contact the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Vice President of Academic Affairs, in consultation with the PT Program Director will identify and discuss what accommodations, if any, the College (Program) would need to make that would allow the candidate to complete the curriculum. The College (Program) is not able to grant accommodations that alter the educational standards of the curriculum. Students must meet the Essential Functions for the duration of enrollment in their professional program.

  1. Observation
    • The student must be able to participate actively in all demonstrations and laboratory exercises throughout the curriculum.
    • The student must be able to accurately make observations both near and at a distance.
    • Observation and information acquisition requires the functional use of vision and sense of touch and is enhanced by the functional use of all of the other senses.
  2. Communication
    • The student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and assess non verbal communications.
    • The student must be able to effectively and efficiently transmit information to patients, fellow students, faculty, staff and all members of the health care team.
    • The student must possess required communication skills including speaking, reading and writing, as well as the observation skills described above.
  3. Motor
    • The student must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers.
    • The student must be capable of performing basic laboratory tests, possess all skills necessary to carry out diagnostic procedures, and execute the motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients.
    • The student must have sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination to perform profession-specific skills and tasks (for example, move at least 50 pounds vertically and horizontally).
  4. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
    • The student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physical therapists, requires all of these intellectual abilities.
    • The student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
    • The student must have the capacity to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes
    • The student must be able to fully utilize his/her intellectual abilities and exercise good judgment. Prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients is required.
    • The student must be capable of developing mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and others.
    • The student must also be able to tolerate taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
    • The student must have compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, and interest and motivation to learn.
    • The student must practice safely, ethically, and legally.

I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THESE ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND I MEET ALL STATED STANDARDS.

DPT Applicant - Essential Function Requirements