Essential Function Requirements of the Program

Admission to Quinnipiac University is open to all academically qualified students without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, handicap or national origin.

One of the purposes of Quinnipiac's program in physical therapy is to provide graduates with a broad and basic preparation for professional physical therapy practice. Quinnipiac's entry-level doctor of physical therapy degree prepares our graduates for roles in state-of-the-art practice. An accepted student to the program must be able to meet the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor requirements of the required curriculum. A graduate is expected by employers, consumers and other health care providers to assume specific roles and responsibilities in a competent and safe manner.

Therefore, all knowledge and skills that are part of the physical therapy curriculum must be mastered for successful completion of the program. This includes successful demonstration of these skills in both campus laboratory simulations and in actual clinical settings.

The physical therapy faculty has developed a set of essential functions that provide performance guidelines necessary for mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to meet physical therapy curriculum objectives. They are also designed to ensure the safety of the student and those who are entrusted to his/her care. Knowing about these essential functions early will serve to increase the likelihood of academic success and avoid disappointment later in the program.

For enrollment, continued progression, and completion of the physical therapy program, the student must be able to perform pursuant to certain essential functions. The term "essential function" refers to all nonacademic criteria used for admission and participation in a program. They evolve from the practice of physical therapy, and apply to all students. They are not established to discriminate for or against a person with a disability, and ensure that a student can benefit from the program offerings.

The skills and abilities that have been identified as necessary to meet physical therapy curricula essential function requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

Sensory Ability
To provide quality care, a student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing and smell. All data received by the senses must be integrated, analyzed, and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. In addition, the student is expected to possess the ability to distinguish color, perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, equilibrium, and movement. The student is expected to be able to observe the patient/client to accurately assess any alteration in functional abilities. Inherent in this observational process is the functional use of the senses and sufficient motor capability to carry out the necessary assessment activities, such as auscultation, percussion, and palpation. The student should also be able to observe a patient accurately and completely at both from a distance and close at hand.

Communication Ability
The student is expected to be able to communicate verbally and non-verbally in an effective and sensitive manner, at a competency level that allows one to safely carry out the essential functions of physical therapy care. This requires the ability to see, speak, hear, read, write effectively in English, and utilize technology effectively. Students are also expected to be able to communicate effectively with fellow students, faculty and members of the health care team.

Motor Ability
The student is expected to be able to perform gross and fine motor movements, bilaterally in order to provide competent care. Examples of care that the student must be able to perform include, but are not limited to, lifting, turning, transferring, transporting, and ambulating individuals. The student is expected to have the manual dexterity and/or psychomotor skills necessary to perform and/or to assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medications by all routes, and emergency interventions in a variety of settings with individuals of various ages. The student must be able to administer CPR without assistance. The student is expected to have sufficient motor function to elicit information from individuals by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. The student is expected to be able to maintain consciousness and equilibrium, and to have the physical strength and stamina to perform satisfactorily in clinical physical therapy experiences on multiple days per week during the semester. In addition, students are required to participate in four clinical affiliations which involves at least eight weeks of full time patient care.

Intellectual-Conceptual Ability
The student is expected to have the ability to develop problem-solving skills, demonstrate the ability to establish care plans, and set priorities. This includes the ability to measure, calculate, analyze, and synthesize objective and subjective data and make decisions that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation of the appropriate data. Students need to be mindful of the degree of personal risk, and take proper precautions to prevent untoward incidents associated with commonly occurring hazards in the work environment such as blood borne pathogens, and environmental allergens such as latex or iodine preparations.

Behavioral/Social/Professional Attributes
The student is expected to have the emotional stability required for the full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of sound judgment, complete assessment and intervention activities, and develop sensitive interpersonal relationships with patients/clients, families and others responsible for health care. The individual is expected to have the ability to function effectively under stress, and exhibit the professional values of responsibility, accountability, altruism, human dignity, integrity and social justice.

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