Department of Physical Therapy
The Department of Physical Therapy is a new addition to the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health sciences at the University of Haifa and its first class of students graduated in June 2004. The department offers a single-major four-year program culminating in a Bachelors in Physical Therapy (B.P.T) degree. Graduates are eligible to take licensure examination of the Ministry of Health. This license is required for practicing Physical Therapy in Israel.
The Physical Therapy program is designed to:
Provide the students with the scientific knowledge base combined with the clinical skills necessary for Evidence Based Practice which is both effective and efficient, and enables the graduate to professionally evaluate, diagnose, set treatment goals, treat, and prevent movement related disorders.
Provide an understanding of the wide scope of the profession that involves the science of human functional and dysfunctional movement as it effects the impairments, functional disabilities, and handicaps of the individual.
Promote an interdisciplinary approach to health care service.
Model and facilitate values that advance a holistic client-oriented approach. This requires an understanding of the biological, social, and psychological needs of each individual client, as well as a commitment to caring and professionalism.
Provide the tools and instill a commitment to lifelong learning, critical and analytical thinking, clinical problem-solving, and research which will prepare professional leaders able to adapt to the changing health care needs and demands of the individual and society.
Curricular content reflects the knowledge, skills, and professional behavior expected of physical therapy graduates, and the format of the curriculum is designed to integrate theory with practice. Therefore, the three major areas of study - the biomedical, psychosocial studies, and physical therapy studies - are fully integrated throughout the program. This is achieved by combining course work with problem oriented small group discussions, lab work, and seminars.
To further this integration and to introduce the students to the wide variety of professional roles, the students participate in a total of 1000 hours of clinical studies which begin during the second year of study and are interposed in accordance with curricular content. During these periods of clinical studies the students practice their acquired skills under the supervision of professional physical therapists which are trained as clinical instructors in specially designed courses offered at the department. To promote continuity between class and practice, the faculty of the department invests much effort in maintaining professional interactions with the clinical instructors. This manifests itself in special in-services offered to the clinical instructors at the university, various clinical research endeavors conducted in collaboration between faculty members and the clinicians at affiliated sites, as well as frequent visits of the Clinical Coordinator at the various sites.
The faculty of the department is in the process of growth and consists of members on a full-time academic tenure track course who are educated as physical therapists and have doctoral degrees, as well as experts who are involved as adjunct professors and guest lecturers. Faculty members have relevant clinical expertise and most retain their skills through clinical practice. Thus, faculty members combine rich educational experiences, clinical expertise, and highly regarded research achievements. The faculty is characterized by professionalism and enthusiasm and enables us to meet our curricular goals ensuring that the teaching is relevant to current clinical practice. Commitment to caring is extended to our students as well, and each student has an appointed faculty advisor who follows the individual student throughout the four year program. The program and faculty are renowned for their responsiveness to the needs of both the professional community and its students.
Research is conducted in collaboration with the major health service providers in Israel, utilizing the department's advanced laboratory equipment. Faculty primary research areas include:
- Rehabilitation of the neurologically impaired individual.
- Geriatric rehabilitation.
- Balance and gait of the elderly population.
- Neurophysiology of pain (human and animal models).
- Sensory and motor stimulation of the premature and developmentally challenged child.
- Biomechanics of sports injury.
- Clinical outcomes of thermo- and electrotherapy.