Department of Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy Program Mission Statement

The Mission of the Physical Therapy Program at Daemen College is to prepare knowledgeable, skilled, culturally competent, compassionate, and reflective physical therapist practitioners capable of functioning collaboratively and autonomously in the dynamic health environment. Professional physical therapy education at Daemen College builds upon and reinforces the intellectual, moral, ethical, and affective qualities of mind developed through liberal arts, social, and natural science education, and mastery of the College's core competencies. Our graduates will contribute to elevating human dignity through commitment to providing specialized services that enable individuals of all ages and diverse cultural backgrounds to meet their maximum potential. They will serve as advocates for the promotion of health and quality of life for individuals, groups, and communities. Our graduates will participate actively in their professional organization to promote continued growth and recognition of the profession.

Physical Therapy Program Philosophy

The Physical Therapy Program at Daemen College supports the Mission and Goals of the College, with the ultimate purpose of developing well educated individuals with critical thinking and creative problem solving skills necessary to assume roles of responsibility as clinician, consultant, educator, and administrator in improving the quality of life for all individuals.

Our departmental philosophy emerges from the following values that are embraced by all departmental faculty. These values drive the design, implementation, and ongoing assessment of our curriculum:

  • Physical therapists are instrumental in restoring individual function and meeting the changing health needs of society, including public education, prevention and health promotion.
  • A Doctor of Physical Therapy education creates the foundation for life-long personal and professional growth through active pursuit of knowledge.
  • Teaching and learning is a collaborative and dynamic process between faculty and students that requires commitment, creativity, and continued assessment.
  • Learning experiences should be varied by the faculty in consideration of student learning styles and be deliberately structured to advance the development of affective, cognitive, and psychomotor skills of the student.
  • Effective learning occurs inside and outside of the classroom in the context of professional, community, and service-oriented activities. Service to the college, profession and community is the responsibility of both students and faculty.
  • Students and faculty should be active participants in the educational process and develop effective habits of self-reflection.
  • The use of current best evidence should drive the delivery of physical therapy services. It is the responsibility of faculty and students to engage in research that will contribute to the current knowledge base and promote effective clinical practice.
  • Students and faculty must uphold the APTA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and demonstrate integrity in all interactions.
  • Advancement of the physical therapy profession is each individual's civic responsibility, through continued competency, service-oriented practice, advocacy, scholarship, teaching, and administration.

Physical Therapy Program Goals

Our program Mission and Philosophy, in combination with the Mission and Goals of Daemen College and the following professional documents, have guided the construction, implementation, and ongoing assessment of our Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice
A Normative Model of Physical Therapist Professional Education: Version 2004
APTA Code of Ethics
APTA Standards of Practice
APTA Clinical Performance Instrument
Professionalism in Physical Therapy: Core Values
Minimum Skills of Physical Therapist Graduates at Entry Level
Vision 2020
Nagi Model of Disablement
Domains of Learning
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health

In order to achieve the Mission of the Daemen College Physical Therapy Program, the faculty and students engage in an active educational process with a variety of learning experiences and collaborate in scholarly and service activities within a curriculum that is designed so that upon completion of the Program, graduates will have achieved the following Goals.

Upon completion of the Daemen College DPT Program the graduate will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the foundational sciences related to normal and abnormal human structure, function and response to injury and disease and apply this information to the understanding of the clinical sciences.
    1. evaluate the basic science foundations of clinical sciences relating to medical and surgical conditions frequently seen by physical therapists.
    2. judge the validity of the basic science foundations of proposed patient/client management theories and approaches.
  2. demonstrate cultural competence while effectively communicating through written, verbal and non-verbal means with patients/clients and their families/caregivers, professional colleagues, payers, policy makers, and the general public.
    1. demonstrate verbal and non-verbal communication appropriate to a specific audience and intended impact of the discourse.
    2. demonstrate concise and accurate professional written communication necessary for patient/client care, administration, and community service roles.
  3. apply educational concepts of learning theories in designing, implementing, evaluating and modifying learning experiences based on the needs of the audience.
    1. describe the importance of instructional design and apply knowledge of the teaching and learning process and associated techniques in the practice of physical therapy.
    2. demonstrate cultural competence in the application of educational concepts when designing and implementing intervention, and health and wellness prevention programs to patients or clients.
    3. evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of strategies used in clinical practice.
  4. use the principles of scientific method and demonstrate sound problem-solving and critical thinking skills in the process of patient/client examination and evaluation in order to determine diagnosis, prognosis and selection of the most appropriate intervention across different patient populations and practice settings.
    1. using current best evidence, select and administer appropriate, valid and reliable examination tests and measures of impairments, functional limitations and disabilities.
    2. evaluate examination data to generate an accurate and defensible physical therapy diagnosis and individualized patient prognosis.
    3. establish and administer an appropriate plan of care and discuss the evidence based rationale for the selection of the intervention parameters.
    4. recognize their limits related to knowledge or scope of practice in determining the need for further examination or consultation by a physical therapist or for referral to another health care professional.
  5. consistently apply sound measurement principles to validly and reliably measure patient/client performance, response to therapeutic intervention, and outcomes assessment across practice settings.
    1. utilize a systematic approach to evaluating patient response to specific interventions.
    2. select and administer appropriate, valid, and reliable performance based or self-report functional outcome measures to evaluate current status and progress toward specific patient centered goals and outcomes.
    3. evaluate the goals and outcomes of physical therapy interventions.
  6. function safely, effectively, and efficiently as an autonomous practitioner, as well as in collaboration with other health care providers, while providing patient/client centered physical therapy services in accordance with the APTA Code of Ethics and the State Practice Law.
    1. render independent judgments concerning patient/client needs and plans of care for individuals throughout their life span who have impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities to promote quality of life.
    2. describe the Physical Therapist's role as a member of the health care team, work collaboratively with other members of the team, and participate in peer assessment.
    3. describe and function within the legal and ethical boundaries involved in the practice of physical therapy.
    4. demonstrate cultural competence when engaged in the practice of physical therapy.
    5. demonstrate altruism, compassion, caring, empathy, integrity, and effective behaviors for recognizing and resolving conflicts, in the context of physical therapist practice.
  7. provide physical therapy services for screening, prevention, health promotion, fitness and wellness to promote health and quality of life.
    1. perform appropriate screening procedures to determine need for primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
    2. apply contemporary theory related to health behavior and current best evidence in designing and implementing educational materials and experiences to promote general health, wellness, participation, and prevent disease, impairment, functional limitation or disability within the scope of physical therapy practice.
  8. exhibit leadership skills in the management and administration of physical therapy services in a variety of settings as part of professional physical therapy practice.
    1. discuss the complex interaction of social, economic, and political variables involved in health care practice management.
    2. recognize the importance of assuring excellence of care and of monitoring effectiveness, efficiency and quality of care.
    3. effectively manage human resources to meet the patient's/client's goals and expected outcomes, and evaluate methods to increase staff productivity and satisfaction in a variety of health care settings without sacrificing quality of care.
    4. participate in financial management and activities related to the marketing and public relations of practice.
    5. manage and administer health care services in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements.
  9. value the importance of continued personal and professional growth through lifelong learning.
    1. recognize the professional program as an entry-level curriculum designed to provide the foundation for autonomous physical therapy practice.
    2. express the importance of participation in professional continuing education throughout one's professional career in order to assure continued competence, adaptation to the dynamic health care environment, and advancement of the profession.
    3. describe the importance of accountability in physical therapy practice and in personal and professional growth as an independent learner.
  10. value the importance of promoting the profession of Physical Therapy through contribution to research, participation in professional organizations and advocating for physical therapists as autonomous practitioners of choice in this dynamic health care environment.
    1. design, conduct, and disseminate the results of research related to the field of physical therapy.
    2. recognize the importance of professional organizations and articulate their roles and functions and the need for participation.
    3. participate in service-oriented activities which promote knowledge of the doctoring profession of physical therapy.
    4. act as an advocate for the physical therapy profession, and the patients we serve, to other providers, payers, political leaders, and other members of the community.

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