Life can change in a split second when an unanticipated injury or disease hinders someone’s normal daily life. Modern medicine, physicians and families can only do so much but physical therapy can help recoup the life many of us take for granted. It often isn’t until we lose something that we as humans realize what we had such as the value of our body’s ability to take us through each day. A physical therapist is the person who stays with a patient for the duration of the rehabilitation process. A physical therapist leads the patient through the process of regaining physical strength and helps the patient regain control of their future. Much like many careers that involve interaction with individuals, physical therapy reaches beyond
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, professionalism is defined as “consistently [demonstrating] core values by aspiring to and wisely applying principles of altruism, excellence, caring, ethics, respect, communication and accountability, and by working together with other professionals to achieve optimal health and wellness in individuals and communities". In the context of being a student in a doctor of physical therapist degree program, there is no better model than the precursors before you. As an employee in an acute care rehabilitation setting, I have the opportunity of seeing firsthand the professional qualities that are essential in this profession.
On September 8th, 2015, I first began interning for Dr. Dawn Cox and her staff of experienced Physical Therapists at PRANA Functional Manual Therapy in Lancaster, PA as a Physical Therapy Aide. Intermittently, on the first day of my internship, I would ask the therapists “Why choose Physical Therapy as a profession?” One of the Physical Therapists conveyed that aside from the substantial benefits a job provides, it was the intangible materials that gave the profession a meaning. As a student exploring the field of Physical Therapy, I have infallibly witnessed professionalism at PRANA and other Physical Therapy facilities through the therapists’ altruism towards patients -without violating ethical practices as professionals; their apposite use of communication with each individual at the workplace; and their sense of accountability when things go unforeseen.
Physical therapists are bound by a set of code of ethics determined by the House of Delegates of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). It’s a set of 8 principles holding the purpose of providing good behavior and performance as well as guidance for physical therapists in facing ethical challenges.
Professionalism “is the skill, good judgement, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.” The Physical Therapy field has come to a consensus on a set of core values that they feel are key components of professionalism. These core values include: accountability, altruism, compassion, excellence, integrity, professional duty, and social responsibility. ATPA’s Professionalism Core Value Self-Assessment is a tool to evaluate a physical therapist’s effectiveness in exhibiting professionalism in their practice. By taking the assessment as a student, we’re able to get a baseline to continue to grow upon as we mature in our careers and as professionals. It’s important for us to be mindful of these components
Explaining professionalism by simply asserting what you desire as a student is not achievable. You need life experience to explain what professionalism means. Professionalism is not something that you accomplish occasionally; it needs a rooted presence in your life. As a physical therapy student, application of my experiences in what constitutes a professional in all possible environments is paramount. While physical therapy schools are distinctive, professionalism stays the same. My undergraduate education along with internship experience hard-wired professionalism into daily life and will propel my future in graduate school.
Congratulations on making it to week eight of PTA 324 Physical Therapy Across Practice Settings! We end this course with a look at professional development of the PTA. We will be discussing ideas for lifelong learning and maintaining clinical competence. By being in this course, you have already shown a commitment to professional development and lifelong learning. As we come to the end of this class, reflect on the self-directed learning that you have achieved and how your professional development has been affected by your research and the interactions with your classmates.
Dr. Winstein’s lecture really spoke to me, as a physical therapy student. There is so much to consider when choosing this career path, as well as so much to strive for. The lecture started with a thought-provoking question:
While I shadowed Janet, I noticed that there was a multitude of tedious documentation that she was required to record. She explained that she spends numerous hours outside of work completing this documentation. Aside from the overwhelming amount of documentation, I felt that I could potentially enjoy working in the field of physical therapy. Janet is able to truly work with patients one-on-one and it was heartwarming to see the excitement that Janet expressed when her patients showed progress. As the year progresses, I plan to look into the steps required to become a physical
For over 75 years the profession of physical therapy has required it's members to adhere to a standard of ethical behavior.1 The first Code of Ethics adopted by the American Physiotherapy Association in 1935 focused mainly on the relationship between the physical therapist (PT), referring physician, and the disciplinary actions of violating that relationship.2(p.4) Since then the Code of Ethics has evolved into what the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) refers to as the Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist (PT Code), and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA Standards).2(p.5),3,4 Today the Code and Standards are designed around the association's core set of values to
A Physical therapist is a highly educated, licensed health care professional that can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility. They can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. To become a physical therapist one must go through years of school and training. My goal of becoming a physical therapist has been my main goal ever since high school. Being in a swim team and helping others out as a lifeguard has motivated to into helping athletes and people with disabilities. To me, working with people would be a fantastic career field for me to pursue. Reaching this goal is harder than most career goals. I will have to go through a pool of candidates that are has motivated as me. This goal that I am trying to accomplish will need a hundred percent of my effort in school and the field itself. Finding “connections in the field of physical therapy will help you find a job faster. Many people will try to get a spot in the career that I want and for me to accomplish my goal, I must be a better candidate than the others.
My career goal is to have my own Physical Therapy practice, and to be my own boss. I want to help revolutionize the ways in which medical personnel approach their patients, as there tends to be a disconnection between patients and medical staff. One of the biggest challenges I will likely face is owning my own practice, because I would first need to work under another company until I gain enough experience and financial wellness to open my own office. However, money and experience are only a small portion of making my business and my vision successful. I will need to be diligent in my pursuits, despite any setbacks that may occur, in an effort to help my practice thrive. My patients will be my number one concern in this respect. If I implement
Excellence: Excellence is a key component behind the practice of evidence-based care in the profession of physical therapy. As a doctoring profession that utilizes high levels of research, the knowledge invested into care will lead to well-constructed successful outcomes. Physical therapy will continue to expand and excel in the quality of patient centered care. I’ve worked hard to meet goals throughout my undergraduate education and will continue to meet higher standards as a graduate student. As a future professional, I will aim far beyond what is necessary to meet basic requirements, and continually pursue growth.
Professionalism is a vital characteristic that is required in a wide range of different applications. It is a multifaceted term that encompasses all the attributes that are essential to be an ethical and capable professional in today’s society. As a student in a doctor of physical therapy program, an individual must be able to display professionalism throughout daily activities to perform at a respectable and responsible level. Professionalism qualities can be shown by a student through demonstration of accountability, compassion, integrity, and excellence.
There are multiple ways to show professionalism as a student in a doctor of physical therapist degree program. Some of these include communication, responsibility, and being prepared.