Essential skills

Ability Standard Some Examples of Necessary Activities
Mobility Ability sufficient to assist clients to move from room to room, move over varied terrain and provide safe and effective client care in a timely fashion.
  • Assist clients in activities of daily living, including bed mobility, transferring from one surface to another and walking with and without assistive devices on levels or stairs using minimum, moderate and maximum assistance. Transport clients in wheelchairs.
  • Physically assist clients in exercise programs.
  • Apply modalities, therapeutic exercise equipment, prosthetics and braces.
  • Perform manual techniques such as manual resistance, passive range of motion, massage, CPR, debride and bandage wounds.
  • Use instruments such as goniometers, strength gauges.
  • Complete clinical rotations for 8 hours/day, 40 hours/week.
Sensory Ability Sensory ability sufficient to monitor client status and use equipment in order to administer safe and effective patient treatments.
  • Detect and respond to monitoring alarms and communications from client and other health professionals.
  • Read dials and monitor equipment, interpret facial expressions, assess the environment and observe changes in patient status that require attention.
  • Detect patient physical structure and function abnormalities.
Critical Thinking Cognitive ability to demonstrate effective problem solving skills and clinical judgment.
  • Prioritize tasks and make appropriate decisions related to situations.
  • Identify cause-effect relationship to apply safe and effective intervention strategies within the physical therapy plan of care .
  • Apply information in classroom to clinical setting, adapting the treatment as needed.
  • Effectively manage time.
Visual Sufficient observation skills necessary for safe client care. Detect and respond independently to warning signals from team members and/or clients of impending danger or emergency, i.e. a change in an individual's appearance, and/or an individual's physical communication of distress.
Critical Thinking Critical thinking sufficient for clinical judgment.
  • Interpret and carry out written and verbal communication often in stressful situations.
  • Identify cause-effect relationship to develop appropriate and safe intervention strategies following the OTR plan of care.
  • Determine when assistance from an OTR is needed.
Interpersonal Skills Interpersonal abilities to interact with clients, families, groups, team members from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. Establish rapport and maintain professional relationships with clients/families and colleagues for optimum treatment effectiveness.
Communication Communication abilities for interaction with others orally and in writing.
  • Comprehend instructions and written documentation.
  • Instruct client/family.
  • Document progress notes.
  • Communication with supervising physical therapist and others.
Professional Behavior Behavior consistent with the standards and core values of the physical therapy profession.
  • Regular attendance and timeliness.
  • Ability to self-assess and implement self-improvement strategies.
  • Attendance at one continuing education meeting.
  • Completion of one activity to increase public awareness of physical therapy and/or health.
  • Participation in one community service activity.

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