Department of Physical Therapy

Department of PHYSICAL THERAPY

Female physical therapy student with pediatric patient holding an object

Top 15 ranking

Our faculty is committed to leadership in clinical doctoral education through academic excellence, scholarly contributions to the profession, service to the local and international community, and fostering moral agency/professional values within our graduates.

This program was the first in the nation to offer the clinical doctorate in entry-level physical therapy education. The curriculum continues to evolve through integrated course content that reflects the dynamic and ever-changing health care landscape. Our experienced faculty are national and international leaders in their areas of expertise who strive to mentor students to be the next leaders in the physical therapy profession.

The Creighton Difference

Faculty Leadership and ExpertiseFaculty Expertise and Leadership

The Department of Physical Therapy includes a skilled faculty who bring expertise in a variety of practice and research areas.  Our innovative and cutting-edge faculty:

  • developed the first Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in the United States, a testament to the culture of excellence and innovation woven into the history of the program.
  • includes Board Certified Specialists (ABPTS) in cardiovascular and pulmonary, geriatrics, orthopedics, pediatrics, neurology, sports medicine, women’s health, and wound care. 
  • possess a visionary and pioneering spirit that strives to meet the needs of developing healthcare professionals, the physical therapy profession, and the individuals and communities we serve.
  • hold significant leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels, demonstrating expertise and a high level of commitment to furthering our profession.  

Click here to learn more about the faculty in Department of Physical Therapy.

Leadership: Nationally Renowned Faculty

Faculty Leadership and Expertise

Our Faculty are Involved at all Levels

 Nationally Renowned Faculty

ResearchPT Research

The Department of Physical Therapy conducts research in clinical and educational theory, translational practice, and rehabilitation in biomechanical science.  Faculty research agendas are diverse and impact the profession of physical therapy through:

  • quantitative research in the Rehabilitation Science Research Laboratory, including projects focused on fatigue and Parkinson’s Disease, knee injuries, healthy populations, movement patterns of pregnant and postpartum females, and early signs of autism. 
  • engagement in the scholarship of teaching and learning utilizing mixed methods educational research to improve teaching and learning.
  • educational research topics that include the development of clinical reasoning skills across the continuum of physical therapy education, the development of mentorship in residency education, interprofessional education, and the impact of curricular innovations. 
  • research efforts that are enhanced by national and international collaboration and dissemination.
  • the engagement of students and residents by faculty in ongoing research efforts to create an environment focused on evidence-based practice and teaching.

Excellence in EducationExcellence in Education

The Department of Physical Therapy strives to demonstrate national and international leadership in the theory, development, and provision of both the entry-level professional doctorate and post-professional residency education. Foundational aspects of our program include:

  • an educational process that incorporates a scientifically-grounded clinical reasoning paradigm unique to the practice of physical therapy. 
  • the development of adaptive learners and training of exceptional academic and clinical educators.
  • innovative curricular revisions to integrate content across semesters to optimize student learning and ensure that it prepares physical therapists to meet the changing needs of society.  Visit the Curriculum webpage for more information.
  • active affiliations with over 350 clinical partners around the nation to support our mission to provide each student with 44 weeks of clinical experiences in a variety of practice areas. Visit the Clinical Education webpage for additional details.
  • the development of advanced practitioners in geriatrics, orthopedics, pediatrics, neurology, and women’s health through five residency programs accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE).  Click here to learn more about our post professional programs.
  • a unique interprofessional common curriculum shared with occupational therapy fellows as part of post-professional residency education.

National PT Clinical Affiliation Locations

Clinical Locations

Over 300 affiliations

Global & Community HealthGlobal and Community Health

The Department of Physical Therapy aims to promote social justice, minimize health disparities, and improve clinical practice in diverse environments to support local and global health initiatives. Students, residents, and faculty are regularly engaged in developing and sustaining relationships across local and international communities to optimize the human experience. We actively develop and promote:

  • local engagement opportunities such as the provision of pro bono physical therapy services, the conducting of balance and health screenings, and the presentation of educational sessions to a variety of community groups. 
  • international service learning and clinical education opportunities within the department.
  • a partnership with the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) in the Dominican Republic for the past 20+ years, offering a 4-week clinical education experience for entry-level students.
  • new opportunities such as the China Honors Immersion Program (CHIP) in Habei, China. 

3,100 Service Hours

Accreditation

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Creighton University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia
22314

Telephone: 703.706.3245
email: accreditation@apta.org
website: http://www.capteonline.org

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 402.280.5934 or email: Christyjepsen@creighton.edu

CAPTE Verified

Outcomes

Upon graduation, each student should be able to demonstrate the following abilities as a professional and a physical therapy practitioner.

Professional Core Abilities

Professional formation and critical self-reflection: The student will use a process of deliberative self-reflection to enhance his or her understanding of self and engage in continued professional formation. Formation of professional identity is based on the following core values: accountability, altruism, compassion, excellence, integrity, professional duty and social responsibility.

Communication skills: The student will read, write, speak, listen and use media and technology to communicate effectively. The students will demonstrate respectful, positive and culturally appropriate interpersonal behaviors in the counsel and education of patients and families, as well as when communicating with other health care professionals.

Critical thinking and clinical judgment: The student will acquire, comprehend, apply, synthesize and evaluate information, integrating these abilities to identify, resolve and prevent problems and make appropriate decisions. The student will demonstrate the behaviors of the scholarly clinician by developing and utilizing the process of critical thinking and systematic inquiry for the purpose of clinical reasoning, decision-making, and exercising sound critical judgment.

Learning and professional development: The student will consistently strive to expand his or her knowledge and skills to maintain professional competence and contribute to the body of professional knowledge. The student will demonstrate the ability to gather, interpret and evaluate data to assess the suitability, accuracy and reliability of information from reference sources.

Ethical foundation and moral agency: The student will practice in an ethical manner, fulfilling an obligation to demonstrate moral responsibility and social justice. The student will identify, analyze and resolve ethical problems.

Social awareness, leadership and advocacy: The student will provide service to the community and to the profession, assume responsibility for proactive collaboration with other healthcare professionals in addressing patient needs and be prepared to influence the development of ethical and humane health care regulations and policies that are consistent with the needs of the patient and society.

Physical Therapy Care Abilities

Patient examination: The student will perform a thorough patient interview with appropriate medical history and review of systems as well as a physical examination using appropriate tests and measures.

Patient evaluation and physical therapy diagnosis: The student will interpret results of the physical therapy examination and other diagnostic procedures, synthesize pertinent data and then formulate an accurate physical therapy diagnosis. The process of evaluation also may identify the need for consultation with or referral to other health care providers.

Patient prognosis: The student will predict the level of optimal improvement that a patient may attain through intervention within a given period of time.

Patient intervention: The student will design an appropriate, customized plan of care consistent with the physical therapy diagnosis and prognosis, as well as with the patient’s/family’s expectations and goals. The student will also assume responsibility for delegating patient care activities and supervising those entrusted with them.

Patient re-examination/re-evaluation: The student will perform an accurate re-examination and re-evaluation to determine changes in patient status and to modify or redirect physical therapy intervention. This process also may identify the need for consultation with or referral to other health care providers.

Patient outcomes: The student will track the results of physical therapy management, which may include the following domains: pathology; impairments; functional limitations; participation; risk reduction/prevention; wellness; community and societal resources and patient satisfaction.

Systems management: The student will identify the specific contribution of physical therapy management within the healthcare system and the influence of health care policy on that system. In addition, the student will demonstrate knowledge and be able to effectively interact within the independent framework of the health care team in a complex society. The student will extend his/her responsibility for physical therapy care beyond individual patients to include care of communities and populations.