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Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Degree Program Director: Richard W. Johnson, PT, EdD

Introduction Physical Therapy is a health care profession that primarily focuses on the preservation, development, and restoration of optimal function. Physical therapists provide evaluative, rehabilitative, and preventive health care services designed to alleviate pain; prevent the onset and progression of impairment, functional limitation, disability resulting from injury, disease, or other causes; and restore, maintain and promote overall fitness, health and optimal quality of life. Physical therapists work with individuals of all ages who demonstrate movement dysfunction, or the potential for such dysfunction, of the neurological, musculoskeletal, integumentary, and cardiopulmonary systems. Physical therapists practice in a hospital setting, or provide services in out-of-hospital settings through home health agencies, in nursing homes, in industrial settings, through public health agencies, in private physical therapy clinics, in public schools and in a variety of other nontraditional settings.

Vision Gannon University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will be a leader in educating autonomous physical therapists who participate in integrative and collaborative practice to facilitate high quality health and educational outcomes. We will be practitioners of choice in the community, recognized as experts in movement, function and health. As leaders we will embrace our social responsibility, promote humanistic care, and contribute to the profession’s body of knowledge.

Mission The Gannon University Physical Therapy Program at Ruskin, Florida embraces the current APTA vision statement, “Physical therapists will transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” The DPT program at Ruskin professes to: • Provide physical therapy graduate education of the highest quality to develop generalist practitioners, while emphasizing faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility. • Prepare global citizens engaged in the community, who are service oriented and meeting the needs of society. • Engage in faculty community-based scholarship with the movement system at the core of all avenues of inquiry.


Philosophy • Physical therapists are integral members of the health care team who are recognized and respected for their education, experience, and expertise in movement, function and health. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Gannon University is guided by the following tenets: The essence of physical therapy practice is patient/client-centered management for body functions, activity and participation related to movement, function and health. • Professional physical therapist education should prepare individuals to be autonomous practitioners capable of providing direct access. • Active, integrative and experiential learning methods promote student self-reliance, increase self-assessment skills and develop a pattern of independent learning that will promote lifelong learning and continuing professional development. • Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the framework for physical therapy practitioners’ clinical decision making. EBP skills are cultivated through development of self-directed learning, utilizing a variety of resources that are enhanced by technology. • The health care environment is continually evolving. Physical therapist practice encompasses roles in primary, secondary, and tertiary care, as well as prevention, health promotion and wellness. • Practitioners are educators who use their knowledge, creativity, communication and interpersonal skills to promote the health of individuals and communities. • Professionalism is an integral part of physical therapy education and practice.

Goals 1. The program will provide a rich educational environment that produces graduates that can meet or exceed the demands of the current health care environment. 2. Students and graduates will be reflective practitioners who utilize critical inquiry, the patient/client management model and evidence-based practice to make independent clinical decisions. 3. Students and graduates will provide services in the community that promote the health and quality of life of the community. 4. Students and graduates will advocate for individual patient/ client needs as well as for the profession. 5. Students and graduates will demonstrate respect for the diversity of individuals, cultures and the community. 6. Graduates will demonstrate a commitment to professional growth and development. 7. The program and University will support faculty in their goal to engage in scholarship. 8. Faculty will engage in scholarship of discovery, integration, application, teaching, and engagement. 9. Faculty will produce and publish interprofessional scholarly work. 10. The program will support faculty in their goal to engage in service locally, nationally and abroad. 11. Faculty will model professionalism through involvement in the University, the profession and associated organizations.

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Gannon University Ruskin Catalog 2019-2020  

Gannon University Ruskin Catalog 2019-2020