Application Agreements (via PTCAS)
All applicants are asked to respond to their understanding of and ability to follow the UTC DPT dress code, essential functions, and UTC DPT statement of ethical and professional standards of the physical therapy profession as part of the PTCAS application.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, including changes made by the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities.
Physical therapy students must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodations, each of the following essential functions in order to fully participate in our program (including clinical experiences) and successfully complete the requirements for a doctorate degree in physical therapy. Program applicants are asked to certify that they are able to complete each of these essential functions as a PT student with or without reasonable accommodations as part of the PTCAS application.
“At the end of your PT education, do you believe you can complete these essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations?
1. Practice in a safe manner minimizing risk to patient, self and others;
2. Demonstrate professional behavior;
3. Practice in a manner consistent with established legal and professional standards;
4. Communicate in ways that are congruent with situational needs;
5. Adapt delivery of PT services with consideration for patients' differences, values, preferences and needs;
6. Participate in self-assessment to improve clinical and professional performance;
7. Apply current knowledge, theory, clinical judgment and the patient's values in patient management;
8. Determine the need for further examination or consultation;
9. Perform a PT examination;
10. Evaluate data from the examination to make clinical judgments;
11. Determine a diagnosis and prognosis that guides patient management;
12. Establish a PT plan of care that is safe, effective, patient-centered & evidence-based;
13. Perform PT interventions competently;
14. Educate others using effective teaching methods;
15. Produce quality documentation;
16. Select and analyze data from selected outcome measures;
17. Participate in financial management of PT service consistent with regulatory, legal and facility guidelines; and
18. Direct & supervise personnel to meet patient goals & expected outcomes.”
If at any time during the application and admissions process and/or during participation in the DPT Program a student should question their ability to perform these essential functions, they should immediately discuss their concerns with the program/admissions coordinator, their faculty advisor and/or the department head. Subsequent actions will be based on individual student need but could include support in referral for disability diagnosis, reasonable accommodation determination and application, as well as physical or mental health referral.
An offer of admission may be withdrawn and/or a student may be dismissed from the program if it becomes apparent that the student cannot complete the Essential Functions even with reasonable accommodation, the needed accommodations are not reasonable and would cause undue hardship to the DPT Program, or that fulfilling the functions would create a significant risk of harm to the health or safety of the student and/or others.
Essential Functions are applicable in classroom, laboratories, and clinical settings. UTC's DPT Program partners with independent clinical education sites that may or may not be able to offer the same reasonable accommodations that are made available by the program.
Individuals who have questions regarding reasonable accommodations should contact the UTC Disability Resource Center: 423-425-4006 (V/TTY); 423-425-2288; [email protected].
Enrolled students requesting reasonable accommodations should contact the DPT Program's department head: Nancy Fell ([email protected]).
American Physical Therapy Association. Minimum Required Skills of Physical Therapist Graduates at Entry Level. BOD G11-05-20-449.
American Physical Therapy Association. Guide to Physical Therapist Practice. Alexandria, Virginia, 2008.
American Physical Therapy Association, Section on Education. AASIG Technical Standards, Essential Functions Document. September 1998.
Ingram D. Opinions of Physical Therapy Program Directors on Essential Functions. Phys Ther, 1997;77(1).
DRESS CODE: For clinical education experiences, students are expected to abide by the dress code of the assigned facility. Students will be directed to contact the Site Coordinator of Clinical Education at the assigned clinical site, at a defined time, to inquire about dress code policies, and are personally responsible for obtaining the clothing needed to meet the dress code required by the assigned site. When patients and/or guests are invited to UTC DPT facilities, or when the class participates in a clinical lab in a clinical facility, students are expected to abide by the following dress code. Students who cannot abide by these rules have the option of not attending the UTC DPT program.
- Students will wear appropriate street clothes to include: Trousers or business-type slacks (i.e. khaki slacks). These must be professional in their style and fit and not cling to the body; Collared shirt; Flat closed-toe shoes with appropriate hosiery. Clean tennis shoes are acceptable at some sites; No jeans, shorts, sleeveless tops with shoulders exposed, shirts with midriffs exposed, or t-shirts are allowed.
- Students will always wear their UTC ID tags at collar or chest level indicating “PT Student.”
- A lab coat worn over street clothes may be required by some facilities. Other sites may require a specified color of scrubs (common in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities).
- Jewelry may only be worn conservatively. Pendant necklaces, bangle bracelets, large dangling earrings, and fashion rings may not be worn. Other than small earrings, no visible piercings are permitted, to include tongue piercing. No other ear jewelry is permitted.
- All tattoos must be concealed at all times.
- Hair must be kept neat and clean. Unconventional hairstyles should be avoided. Hair should be secured so as not to fall loosely from the head.
- Perfumes and colognes are not allowed.
- Natural nails should be kept closely trimmed and less than ¼ inch long. If nail polish is worn, it cannot be chipped, cracked or peeling. The wearing of artificial (acrylic) nails is not permitted. Artificial nails are defined as substances or devices applied to natural nails to augment or enhance nails. This includes, but is not limited to bonding, tips, wrappings, tapes and inlays.
- Students are expected to show good grooming habits and personal hygiene in their appearance.
- Chewing gum is not allowed.
STATEMENT OF ETHICAL AND PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS OF THE PHYSICAL THERAPY PROFESSION: Professional success depends upon factors other than those measured by normal evaluations in course work. The faculty has the right to separate the student who is not likely to succeed professionally despite earning acceptable grades from the program. Failure to maintain the high ethical and professional standards of the physical therapy profession may subject a student to suspension and dismissal or other appropriate remedial action by the physical therapy faculty.
These actions apply in the following circumstances:
Engaging in the following acts of misconduct, regardless of whether such misconduct is engaged in, on or off, University-owned or controlled property:
a. Commission of an offense classified as a felony by Federal criminal statutes.
b. Unlawful use, possession, or sale of drugs or narcotics, whether or not felonious.
c. Plagiarism, falsification of records, or other act which substantially impugns the integrity of the student.
d. Other unprofessional and unethical conduct, including failure to abide by the APTA Code of Ethics, which would bring disrepute and disgrace upon both student and profession and which would tend to substantially reduce or eliminate the student’s ability to effectively practice the profession.
e. Actions which would substantially reduce or eliminate the student’s ability to effectively pursue physical therapy at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga due to alcoholism, drug addiction, mental instability or other physically or psychologically incapacitating illness or defect.
A student may also be dismissed, or dealt with in a much less severe manner as may be appropriate, whenever their continued enrollment would bring disrepute and disgrace upon both student and profession. A student applying for admission to the Physical Therapy program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga shall also be subject to the above provisions and may be denied admission on the basis of their failure to maintain the aforementioned ethical and professional standards. In decisions of the faculty to deal with problems in a manner other than dismissal, students will be evaluated and remediated following the Professional Behavior Assessment Form as noted in the DPT Student Handbook.