DPT Essential Functions

Technical Standards Form


Physical Therapy Program Minimum Technical Standards for Matriculation

Policy on Student Compliance with Technical Standards

The Doctor of Physical Therapy education program at Trine University prepares physical therapists to serve as primary providers of physical therapy care. This program is a complex and intensive course of study that places specific demands on students that closely resemble the physical and intellectual challenges graduates of the program will encounter as practicing physical therapists. In order to function as clinical physical therapists, individuals must be able to meet certain physical, emotional, intellectual, and communication expectations for performance. This program is designed to prepare students to be entry-level physical therapists.

The purpose of technical standards is to delineate the psychomotor, cognitive and affective skills and abilities deemed essential for matriculation into, continuation in, and graduation from the educational program. Technical standards are necessary to create specific expectations for student performance in the classroom, laboratory and clinical education environments. Students are to familiarize themselves with these essential functions and determine whether or not they are able to perform the specified tasks. Technical standards must be met with or without reasonable accommodations consistent with The Americans with Disability Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Psychomotor Skills
Gross and fine motor skills are required to meet the responsibilities of a physical therapist student in a wide variety of educational and clinical settings. A student must be able to perform motor movements required to provide general and emergency care to all patients. These demands include reasonable endurance, strength, equilibrium, and precision. A student must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, diagnostic maneuvers and procedures, and other diagnostic manual maneuvers in a safe and effective manner. A student must be able to execute general motor movement such as transferring/transporting, gait training, and positioning of patients, physically restraining adults and children who lack motor control, and manual mobilizing techniques.

Observation
Observation is an essential component of evaluation and assessment for a physical therapist student. In general, this requires functional use of vision, hearing and somatic sensation including the ability to perceive position, pressure, movement, weight, and vibration. A student must be able to demonstrate the following observational skills examination of non-verbal patient communication, skin integrity, radiographic findings, graphic representations of data, changes in body position/movement, and gauges on equipment. In the classroom, a student must be able to independently observe and participate in laboratory dissection of cadavers, the microscopic analysis of tissues, and lecture and laboratory demonstrations in all courses.

Communication
Effective and sensitive verbal, non-verbal, and written forms of communication must be demonstrated by a student. This is necessary in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, assess non-verbal communications, and be able to effectively and efficiently transmit information to patients, fellow students, faculty and staff, and all members of the health care team

Intellectual, Conceptual, and Integrative Abilities
To effectively solve problems, a student must be able measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, and synthesize information in a timely manner. A student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures. A student must be able to synthesize knowledge and integrate relevant aspects of the patient history and examination findings in order to develop an accurate physical therapy diagnosis and determine an effective treatment plan within reasonable time constraints imposed by the needs of the patient, the facility, and the standards of care.

Affective, Behavioral, and Social Capabilities
Empathy, compassion, integrity, honesty, concern for others, good interpersonal skills, interest, commitment, and motivation are all required personal characteristics that a student must possess. A student must possess adequate mental and emotional health necessary for the full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment, academic honesty, maintenance of patient confidentiality, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the care of patients and course assignments; and the development of mature sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and others. A 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 clinical situations. A student is expected to be able to accept and reflect upon appropriate suggestions and criticisms and, if necessary, respond by modifying personal behaviors. A student should also conduct him/herself at all times in a manner consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Code of Ethics and Guide for Professional Conduct.

Procedure
It is the policy of Trine University not to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities, and to provide reasonable accommodations, as required by law. Students with disabilities who wish to request academic adjustments need to meet with the Director of Academic Support Services and provide recent documentation from an appropriate professional source concerning the disability. This documentation must contain a clear diagnosis, tell how the condition affects the student’s ability to function, explains what academic adjustments are needed, and show how the disability relates to these adjustments. If a student is eligible for academic adjustments, the student’s professors will be notified regarding the requested adjustments. A reasonable academic accommodation is based on documented individual needs, allows the most integrated experience possible, does not compromise the essential requirements of a course or program, does not pose a threat to a person or public safety, does not impose undue financial or administrative burden and is not of a personal nature. The exact nature of a disability will be kept confidential. Visit the disability website for additional information at http://www.trine.edu/academics/academic-resources/disability-accomodations.aspx.

The goal of Academic Support Services is to assist all students to become efficient, self-confident, and independent learners. For more information on academic support services, telephone 260-665-4853 or FAX 260-664-4283 or visit the website at http://www.trine.edu/academics/academic-resources/academic-support-services.aspx.

All students are required to read and review the Policy on Student Compliance with Technical Standards and return a signed copy to the Physical Therapy Program acknowledging that the policy has been read the students attest they are in compliance with the policy.