Temple University

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Essential Functions

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Temple University is dedicated to providing the professional education and development for students as they become competent entry-level physical therapists. 
Graduates are expected to function as autonomous practitioners and to provide a full range of physical therapy services. Individuals who successfully complete the program are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and upon passing the exam, enter into the profession of physical therapy.  As a result, all students admitted to the program must be able to demonstrate the following essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations.
Essential Function of Physical Therapists

Students must demonstrate the ability to act professionally in any environment, including stressful situations or when faced with impending deadlines. Acting professionally includes, but is not limited to, practicing safely, ethically and legally, demonstrating responsibility for lifelong professional growth and development, demonstrating respect for others, advocating for the health and health care needs of patients/clients, coping in difficult situations, demonstrating appropriate hygiene and appropriate affective interpersonal behaviors. 

Students must demonstrate the cognitive abilities to exhibit an understanding of the academic knowledge base and preparation expected of a physical therapist, identify cause-and-effect relationships one may encounter in a clinical or classroom setting, develop and appropriately modify patient/client goals/plans, respond appropriately to emergency situations, apply universal precautions, and apply teaching and learning theories in health care. 
Students must demonstrate sound judgment, based on an understanding of the rationale and justification for 
their choices, by listening and responding with appropriate verbal and nonverbal responses, in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings. 
Students must demonstrate clear, effective and efficient ability to understand and use the written and oral English language, as well as to listen, and respond, appropriately to verbal and nonverbal forms of communication. 
Students must demonstrate the physical ability to efficiently and safely move between and within clinical 
environments and maneuver under various conditions of environmental constraint. 
Students must demonstrate adequate sensorimotor skills to provide safe and effective physical therapy 
examinations (e.g., palpation, auscultation, etc.), physical therapy interventions (e.g., range of motion activities, patient/client guarding, assisting with ambulation, transfers, etc.) and emergency treatment to patients (e.g., monitor alarms, monitor vital signs, perform CPR, etc.) efficiently and reliably.