Core Performance Standards

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*located on the Armstrong Campus


Georgia Southern University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Core Performance Standards

All potential and enrolled students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program must meet intellectual, physical, and social competencies in order to provide safe patient care and successfully complete the program.
SkillStandardExamples of Activities
Critical ThinkingCritical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment. Transfer knowledge from one situation to another. Process information, evaluate outcomes, problem-solve, and prioritize.
Use long and short-term memory, identify cause-effect relationships.
Plan activities for others.
Synthesize knowledge and skills.
Sequence information.
Analytical ThinkingAbility to process information, evaluate outcomes, and problem solve. Transfer knowledge from one situation to another. Prioritize tasks.
Use long and short-term memory
ReadingAbility to read and understand written documents. Reading policies and protocols.
Arithmetic CompetenceMeasuring, counting, computing.Reading and understanding charts, digital displays, graphs.
Measure time, count rates, use measuring tools.
InterpersonalInterpersonal skills sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. Negotiate interpersonal conflict. Respect cultural diversity in patients. Establish rapport with patients and co-workers.
CommunicationCommunication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form as measured by the Doctor of Physical Therapy program professional behavior evaluation, CPI, and course instructors. Explain health conditions, diagnostic and treatment procedures and initiate health teaching.
Interpret and document patient responses to health status.
Convey information through written and oral reports.
Interact with others (patients, family members, health care workers) in person, on the phone, and in writing.
Physical EndurancePhysical abilities sufficient to stand for multiple hours, sustain repeated movements, and maintain physical tolerance for entire work shift. Standing multiple hours at a patient’s side during examination or therapy session
Physical StrengthPhysical abilities sufficient to lift, support, and move heavy objects. Exert 100 lbs. of force occasionally, 50 lbs. frequently, and 25 lbs. of force regularly. Support 25 lbs. of weight (e.g., ambulate patient). Lift 25 lbs. of weight (e.g., transfer patient). Move light and heavy objects.
Carry equipment/supplies.
Defend self against combative patient.
MobilityPhysical abilities sufficient to move from room to room, maneuver in small spaces, and maintain physical tolerance for repetitive movements and demands of the work shift. Sustained standing. Move within confined spaces.
Sit or stand and maintain balance.
Reach above shoulders and below waist.
Twist, bend, stoop, or climb on stool or stairs, and move quickly in response to potential emergencies. Use upper and lower body strength.
Squeeze with hands and fingers.
Motor SkillsGross and fine motor skills sufficient to provide safe and effective examination and treatment of patients and complete documentation. Grasp, pick up objects with hands.
Manipulate small objects with hands/fingers. Write with pen/pencil.
Sit and maintain balance. Maintain balance in a variety of postures.
Reach above shoulders, reach below waist.
Walk with and observe patient on a variety of surfaces and heights.
Reach, manipulate, and operate mechanisms such as lifts, treatment tables.
Self-mobility with capability of propelling wheelchairs, stretchers, heavy equipment for extended periods of time.
Type on computer keyboard.
HearingAuditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Hear normal and faint voices.
Hear faint body sounds such as blood pressure, heart beat, etc.
Ability to receive spoken communication when not able to read lips.
Hear auditory alarms such as monitors, fire alarms, and call bells.
Visual SkillsVisual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary for safe patient care.Visualize objects from 20 inches to 20 feet away. Use depth perception and peripheral vision. Distinguish colors and color intensity.
Read and understand written documents.
TactileTactile ability sufficient for physical assessment and equipment manipulation. Feel vibrations to detect pulses, etc.
Detect temperature.
Feel differences in sizes and shapes and detect surface characteristics.
SmellDetect environmental and patient odors.Detect odors from patient (e.g. foul smelling drainage, alcohol on breath, etc.).
Detect smoke.
Detect gases or noxious smells.
Emotional StabilityEmotional stability sufficient to tolerate rapidly changing conditions and environmental stress.Establish appropriate therapeutic interpersonal boundaries.
Provide patients with emotional support. Adapt to changing environment and stress. Deal with the unexpected.
Focus attention on task.
Monitor own emotions.
Perform multiple tasks concurrently.
Handle strong emotions.

Last updated: 5/8/2018

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences • 11935 Abercorn Street Armstrong Center, Suite 217, Savannah, GA 31419