Professionalism in Physical Therapy
A member of physical therapist team is an integral contributor of health care functions and a professional that is best prepared to promote health care across the life span. The Doctor of Physical Therapist Program prepares a student to be a reliable professional, who is capable of tackling the changing health care needs of patients. The most interesting function of physical therapists is how they relate therapeutic activities to body functions and structures. They also consider individual differences regarding culture, psychological, economic and social influences, and how these influences affect the health of a patient. The program focuses on producing graduates that are best qualified to promote health and wellness of activities in the world of health care.
Any professional is the product of socialization process. Learners gain knowledge, culture and value of a particular profession through social interaction. As for health professionals, the education program is a form of socialization. Physical therapist instructors equip students with professional behaviours as per the requirement of the program. Professional behaviour is the key to defining the professionalism of a student. It is the duty of Instructors to ensure students identify themselves as professionals through practicing time observation skills. A student who does not report to class on time is considered unprofessional. Demonstrating respect and high level of courtesy in all the conduct is another behavioural professional characteristic expected by instructors. Other professional behaviours include good communication skills, positive attitude, and participation in class. Health professionalism in a classroom setting tends to be more structured. This ensures students carry high standards of professional behaviour to clinics. The professional level expertise of new graduates does not fully match the expertise level of clinicians that are already in practice. That is why the program incorporates many structured models in the learning process so that candidates can quickly match skills after entering healthcare institutions, thus providing a foundation for physical therapy profession.
I believe professionalism in physical therapist class is practised through various dimensions provided by the program’s coursework. These dimensions may use data from clinics to help develop student’s professional curriculum, therefore, providing a graduate with a solid base in the field. It is the responsibility of the instructors to ensure students are equipped with extensive knowledge of physical therapy. Considering the patients’ needs are dynamic, a professional therapist is one who centres all focus on patient’s needs. Students should be able to participate fully when they are subjected to real-life situations where they can practise problem-solving skills through clinical reasoning. A keen monitoring of patient progress and their normal characteristics in caring and devotion clearly describes a high standard of professionalism exhibited by students.
Health professionals are disciplined, passionate and well equipped and qualified to act as agents in the health care system. They can think critically and intelligently to best promote health care and well-being of individuals in a community. Therefore, for students to excel in the profession of the physical therapy, they should incorporate core values which include consistent application of new knowledge and theory and therapist reflections. These practices can be done and tested in a classroom through opportunities provided by a curriculum to help student’s exercise clinical decision making when subjected to different patient’s problems. I can say skills learned in class including theory and practical experiences are the most important aspects acquired by every physical therapy professional.