Date of Graduation
College of Education and Human Services
Learning Sciences and Human Development
Daniel E. Hursh.
The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the state of professionalism in the physical therapy profession. The literature suggests that professionalism is a concern in many professions including medicine, law, nursing, audiology, and physical therapy. Two separate but parallel surveys were used to identify the opinions and experiences of physical therapy students and licensed physical therapists. The student survey consisted of a four-page paper and pencil survey that was mailed to 20 randomly selected CAPTE accredited physical therapy programs. Of the 1,525 available students, 336 (22%) physical therapy students participated in the investigation. The clinician survey consisted of a four-page paper and pencil survey that was mailed to members of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Of the 1,000 surveys mailed, 376 (37.6%) surveys were returned. The results of these two surveys revealed that both physical therapy students and clinicians view professionalism as an integral part of a physical therapy education. Despite evidence to support the concerns of declining professionalism among physical therapy students, the overall frequency of negative behaviors of physical therapy students was found to be relatively low. The most frequent negative behaviors of physical therapy students were tardiness, verbal disrespect, non-verbal disrespect, and dress code violations. Based on the results of this investigation, professionalism is an issue of concern in the physical therapy profession, and researchers are justified in their efforts to seek ways of fostering professionalism among both physical therapy students and practicing clinicians.
Davis, D. Scott, "Learning and developing professional behaviors as part of an entry-level physical therapy education: A survey of students and practicing clinicians" (2006). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3441.