Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: To determine the opinions of practicing physical therapy clinicians, who serve as clinical instructors, concerning the essential functions of student physical therapists.

Subjects: 99 surveys were distributed to clinical instructors participating in the clinical educational program at Nova Southeastern University's Master of Physical Therapy Program. Fifty-two clinical instructors participated.

Method: A self-designed survey was used. The survey consisted of 4 demographic questions and a list of 13 essential functions.

Results: Utilizing appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and written communication with patients, families, and others was ranked the highest essential function at 94%. Practicing in a safe, ethical, and legal manner and safely, reliably, and efficiently performing appropriate physical therapy procedures used to assess the function of the movement system were the next highest ranking essential functions at 92%. The least agreement (37%) was found for developing and applying programs of prevention and health promotion.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that there are similarities among the clinical instructors and physical therapy program directors. The results of this study, along with previous studies, could be used by physical therapy programs and their clinical educators to develop essential eligibility requirements for their students.


Physical Therapy

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