Award Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Committee Member

Jenny Kent

Second Committee Member

Daniel Young

Third Committee Member

Merrill Landers

Number of Pages



Background/Significance/Objective: Although there is some research regarding physical therapy in the acute hospital setting, much of it is focused on the role physical therapists play with specific patient populations or diagnoses. By understanding more about how physical therapy services can add value in the acute hospital, their skills could be better utilized to maximize benefit for both individual patients and the hospital. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceived value that physical therapists bring to the acute care hospital from the perspective of both physical therapists and their supervisors in Southern Nevada.

Methods: This study used an online survey to assess perceptions of value among physical therapists and their supervisors working in acute hospitals in Southern Nevada. Both groups of participants were asked to answer questions regarding the ideal methods for measuring value, how value is currently measured, ways to increase value, the value of physical therapist involvement in wound care, and more.

Results: Participants included 25 physical therapists and 2 supervisors. Despite some variability, the two groups agreed on many of the statements such as length of stay and readmission rates as useful measurements of value and being a role model for other physical therapists and mentoring new graduates are effective ways physical therapists can increase their value.

Discussion: Physical therapists and their supervisors found value in acute care physical therapy and agreed in most areas. Physical therapists found the most value in educating patients and assisting with functional limitations. Both therapists and supervisors felt that value was best assessed through length of stay and readmission rates and did not see as much value in assessment through the use of billable units. The survey revealed that both groups felt that physical therapists could add the most value by being a role model for or mentoring new therapists.


Values; Social values; Physical therapy; Intensive care nursing; Wounds and injuries


Critical Care | Physical Therapy

File Format


File Size

589 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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