Goals and Outcomes
The program mission seeks to prepare competent practitioners who practice in a culturally sensitive manner and are patient advocates responsive to the needs of a very rural community with a documented high rate of chronic disease. Given this practice environment, if the program is to meet the needs of the community, our graduates must develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to achieve the high level of autonomous practice required to assist patients/clients who live with chronic disease in a rural region. To be as effective as possible, these graduates must be competent communicators who bring to bear the latest evidence in order to meet the health care needs of individuals in the community, regardless of whether the goals are to maintain wellness, or to prevent onset, symptoms and progression of impairment, functional limitations and disability, or to restore function at the highest possible level. And finally they must develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that will enable them to become effective practitioners who are capable of delivering physical therapy services in a challenging health care environment. Therefore, the following student/graduate goals and outcomes have been established:
Serve as autonomous primary care practitioners who are responsive to the entire scope of physical therapy practice by:
- Demonstrating sound, independent, and evidenced-based clinical decisions utilizing information literacy, critical thinking skills, and empiric data.
- Committing to evidence-based practice by acquiring basic and applied research skills necessary for discovery, assessment, application and/or dissemination of new knowledge.
- Adhering to the core professional values and established ethical and legal guidelines for practice and research
- Making professional referrals to appropriate personnel, and directing and supervising personnel to meet patient goals and expected outcomes.
- Becoming an advocate for patients, the community and the profession.
- Accepting responsibility for personal and professional growth.
Use principles of evidence-based practice and critical thinking to solve clinical problems by:
- Utilizing the scientific method in the patient care process and peer-reviewed research to inform clinical practice.
- Engaging in the diagnostic and prognostic process and determination of any patient’s needs across the lifespan through the use of appropriate assessment, examination and evaluative procedures, and correct interpretation of the data obtained.
- Observing, recording, and interpreting pertinent information concerning patient problems, goals, treatment, and progress.
- Establishing treatment plans and realistic goals which reflect critical inquiry and sound clinical decision making strategies, and are distinguished by advocacy, trust, respect, and an appreciation for individual difference, then monitoring and modifying those plans and goals as necessary.
Become effective communicators to and teachers of patients, families, peers, community and students by:
- Valuing the importance of effective communication in the provision of health care services.
- Developing effective listening skills in order to accurately interpret communication with others.
- Developing reading, writing, verbal and non-verbal skills that support and facilitate clear and concise communication and professional documentation of evaluation data, and evidence-based rationale for treatment decisions, plans and the delivery of services.
- Explaining, in a culturally sensitive manner, a patient’s diagnosis, prognosis, and physical therapy plan of care to the patient and his/ her caregiver.
- Delivering professional presentations and writing professional papers.
Participate in the design and management of a physical therapy services by:
- Applying principles of planning, organization, supervision, and evaluation.
- Designing a system for the management of personnel, equipment, space, and finance.
- Supporting professional advancement through appropriate participation in professional activities, research, continuing education, and recruitment.
- Discussing the issues and problems in health care delivery systems.
- Functioning as a unique, independent, and interdependent member of the health care team.
- Committing to enhancement of quality of life and health and wellness of the community by delivering the highest quality, culturally sensitive physical therapy services, including primary and secondary prevention programs, to the individuals and communities, particularly those living in sparsely populated rural settings and/or dealing with chronic diseases.