Identification of essential managerial work activities and competencies of physical therapist managers employed in hospital settings
Luedtke-Hoffmann, Kathleen A.
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The purposes of this study were to describe the managerial work and competencies required by hospital-based physical therapist managers to perform their work. Data describing work and competencies were gathered using a web-based application called SkillObject™ Process. A group of subject matter experts generated task statements describing their jobs. One subject matter expert reviewer grouped the tasks together and identified common tools and knowledges to perform the tasks. The task, tool and knowledge statements were gathered into an online survey. Seventy-four hospital-based physical therapist middle and senior managers completed the online survey, ranking the task and competency statements on frequency of performance and importance to their jobs. The subjects also identified the management level of the person in their organization who performed the work tasks and/or used the competencies in their jobs. The content validity of the data collection instrument was examined using hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis. The internal consistency reliability of the data collection instrument was assessed using Intraclass Correlation Coefficients ICC's and Cronbach's coefficient alpha (α). In addition, theoretical models (developed by the investigator) describing managerial work and competencies of hospital-based physical therapist managers were evaluated for their content validity. The task and competencies clusters produced in this study were meaningful and internally consistent when applied to a population of hospital-based physical therapist managers. The results suggest that the work tasks performed by physical therapist managers are similar to those of other managers. Subjects described differences among work tasks and competencies between three management levels, reporting that senior managers performed tasks of planning and forecasting most frequently, while senior and middle managers both perform human resource management activities, and manage the operations of departments. Subjects perceived that the patient care activities and coordination of personnel providing patient care were most frequently performed by first-level managers. The theoretical models demonstrated satisfactory construct validity in their ability to describe the managerial work and competencies of hospital-based physical therapists. This study is the first to identify the competencies (tools and knowledges) required to perform the specific work of the physical therapist manager, and to produce a model summarizing these competencies.