The Acquisition of Professionalism Through Online Learning in a Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program

Purpose/Hypothesis : The physical therapy (PT) profession has transitioned from a certificate, to a bachelorÕs degree, to a masterÕs degree and now to a doctoral degree. With this change, many practicing PTs have been given the opportunity to further their education through transitional doctorate (tDPT) programs. Professionalism is integrated into the tDPT programs to broaden the PTsÕ knowledge of professionalism and promote incorporation into their current and future practice. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate whether self-reported professionalism attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors of practicing PTs can change through an online post-professional tDPT curriculum.Number of Subjects : Twenty-three of 33 (69.7%) tDPT students participated in this non-experimental study.Materials/Methods : The participants completed self-assessment professionalism surveys during their first and last semesters in the tDPT program as part of the tDPT curriculum and advisement process. Participants were asked to rate the following items with a predetermined Likert scale: 1) self-perceived competency for 22 skills deemed essential for tDPT graduates; 2) self-perceived knowledge, frequency of use, and importance to clinical practice for 31 modules in the APTA Preferred Curricular Model for the tDPT learner; 3) self-perceived frequency of displaying the 7 APTA Core values; and 4) self-perceived level of function in the 10 Professional Behaviors. Paired t-tests were used to analyze the pre-and post-program change in the professionalism self-assessment scores.Results : Significant differences were found (P < .05) from pre to post for 12/22 skills essential for tDPT graduates and in the APTA Preferred Curricular Model for the tDPT learner with 31/31 modules of self-perceived knowledge, 9/31 modules regarding frequency of use and 13/31 modules regarding importance to clinical practice. Significant differences (P < .05) were found in 1/7 APTA Core Values and 7/10 Professional Behaviors.Conclusions : According to the results of the study, it appears that professionalism self-perceptions and reported behaviors can change throughout a tDPT program. This would suggest online tDPT curricular models should continue to incorporate professionalism as an integral part of the curriculum.Clinical Relevance : The participants completing the tDPT program have a self-reported increase of knowledge, frequency of use and importance of professional skills related to excellence in physical therapy practice.

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  • Control #: 2024308
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Joy R. Karges, Patrick L. Hauer, Adam L. Hoffmann, David DeWitt, Patrick S. Cross
  • Keywords: Professionalism|on-line teaching|transitional DPT

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