Physical therapists are health care professionals responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of individuals who have health related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, and nursing homes. Physical therapists are trained to use a variety of techniques to care for their patients that include the use of exercises that restore functional movement and decrease pain. In addition, they educate their patients how to use medical equipment such as canes, crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers to help restore mobility.
Physical therapists examine, diagnose, and develop treatments for patients based on techniques that promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent any disabilities that may have resulted from diseases, disorders, conditions, or injuries. From a clinical perspective, they obtain and analyze patient history, work with a team of medical professionals, and perform tests to aid in the diagnosis of existing or potential problems. In addition, they work to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
Pre-Physical Therapy Course Work
Most graduate doctoral of physical therapy programs (DPT) have a core set of required classes that must be completed prior to admission. These courses include two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology, two semesters of the Biology or Biological Science, two semesters of General Chemistry, two semesters of Physics, two semesters of Psychology or Social/Behavioral Science, and one semester of Statistics.
Ideally, these classes would be universal for all doctoral of physical therapy programs, however this in the not the case. Here is an individualized list of courses required by each accredited program.
The pre physical therapy track in Biology is based on a strong foundation of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Anatomy and Physiology, and Physics. The curriculum outlined in this track is centered on preparing students for admission to post-graduate professional degree programs in physical therapy. Students who participate in this track will have the opportunity to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. The pre physical therapy track offered at Holy Family University does not provide any licensing, certification, or direct opportunity to practice physical therapy once a Bachelor of Arts is earned. This pre PT track entails an academic curriculum that is combined with practical experiences intended to prepare students for the rigorous demands required by these professional allied health programs. Since no one professional degree program is the same, this program is designed to meet the prerequisites required by the majority of DPT programs.
This program is unique since it requires courses that represent subjects that students will encounter once they get admitted into a particular DPT program. These courses include Medical Terminology, Basic Elements of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Disease, and Kinesiology and Biomechanics. By exposing students to this material at the undergraduate level will not only increase their probability to successfully master it at the graduate level, but will also reinsure the admission committees that our students can intellectually handle the demands that they will experience once being admitted into their programs. There is also a required elective that enables students the option to take a course that is unique to a specific DPT program. Some examples of courses that could be used by this elective include Bioethics, Adult Development and Aging, or Nutrition. Another unique aspect of this program is that it provides students with real world physical therapy experience in an external clinic setting through its internship program.
Pre-Physical Therapy Courses
Pre-Physical Therapy track students satisfy the requirements of the Biology degree program and the following track concentration courses:
- Biological Principles I, II
- Anatomy and Physiology I, II
- Cell Biology
- Advanced Microbiology
- Principles of Genetics
- Seminar: Scientific Literature
- Inorganic, Organic, and Cultural Evolution
- Molecular Genetics
- Chemistry Principles I, II
- Organic Chemistry I, II
- Basic Elements of Pharmacology and Toxicology
- Medical Terminology
- Elementary Statistics
- Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Disease
- Calculus I for the Biological Sciences
- Kinesiology and Biomechanics
- General Physics I, II
- General Psychology and Abnormal Psychology
- Successful completion of written and oral components of comprehensive exam and poster presentation