The APTA Geriatrics is pleased to announce the publication of the "Essential Competencies in the Care of Older Adults at the Completion of a Physical Therapist Postprofessional Program of Study." The document is the culmination of more than a year's work of a taskforce that was assembled to create it. Their work, along with comments from the public, vested stakeholders, and experts in the field led to the document which is now finalized. The purpose of this document is to identify the knowledge, skills, and behaviors essential of a graduate of a postprofessional program of study in geriatric physical therapy. This document's intended primary use is as a curricular guide for geriatric residency programs. It has the potential to be adapted into resident assessment tools (with proper validation). This document is not intended to serve as a tool for preparation for the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS) examination since the competencies contained within this document do not directly align with the Description of Specialty Practice for Geriatrics, from which the GCS examination is based. However, individuals preparing for the GCS examination may also find this document a helpful supplement.
Questions related to these Post-PT Essential Competencies can be directed to Greg Hartley
In 2011, the APTA Geriatrics released its "Essential Competencies in the Care of Older Adults at the Completion of the Entry-level Physical Therapist Professional Program of Study." This document, based on an earlier collaboration with the Partnership for Health in Aging, was developed by our Retooling for an Aging America Taskforce. Copies of this document were mailed to the directors of all physical therapist education programs in the U.S. Included was a cover letter requesting that directors share this document with all faculty members, even non-PTs, involved in teaching aging and geriatrics-related topics within their entry-level professional physical therapist education programs.
The rationale for formulating these Essential Competencies and the developmental processes employed are outlined in the introductory section which precedes the specified domains, competencies and sub-competencies of the document.
The APTA Geriatrics strongly encourages physical therapist education programs to assure that their graduates are competent in the care of older adults. It is expected that these Essential Competencies will serve as a useful tool in guiding the development of curricular content, learning experiences, and outcome measures for physical therapist education students who, on average, will be working with a significant number of older adults during their careers.
Taskforce Members are:
Questions related to these PT Essential Competencies can be directed to Dr. Rita Wong
An APTA Geriatrics taskforce has developed the document "Essential Competencies in the Care of Older Adults at the Completion of the Entry-Level Physical Therapist Assistant Program of Study" in response to concerns over the preparedness of health care workers to successfully meet the needs of older Americans. This document considers knowledge and skills that should be evident in the entry level PTA providing care to the older adult. While staying true to the core competencies developed by the Partnership for Health in Aging, the PTA taskforce has identified subcompetencies that specifically address the scope of practice of the PTA and maintain the relationship between the PT and the PTA.
Details on the development of the document are outlined in the introductory section. It is hoped that the "Essential Competencies for the PTA" will be used by PTA academic and clinical educators to guide curriculum development and form as a basis for student assessment in geriatric competencies in the clinic and the classroom.
Questions related to these PTA Essential Competencies can be directed to Dr. Fran Wedge.