Gross Anatomy and Histology
This course covers the study of human anatomical structures as they relate to movement, physiological demands of activity, and exercise. Specimens, models, and videos aid a regional approach to the study of structures. The course consists of both lectures and laboratory experiences with pro-section and cadaver dissection. This course also includes a comprehensive study of the microscopic and submicroscopic structure of mammalian tissues.
Development Through the Lifespan
This course provides a foundation for physical therapy practice with individuals from infancy throughout adulthood and into old age. It will cover the typical developmental process from infancy through older adulthood. Topics related to the psychosocial, motor and cognitive impact of lifespan development will be addressed. Particular emphasis is placed on the relationship between the developmental process, including aging, and realistic goal-setting for physical therapy intervention of clients throughout adulthood. The course begins with a review of embryology that is pertinent to growth and development and physical therapy practice.
This course is an in-depth study of the interaction between the muscular and skeletal systems to produce human movement. The student reviews the anatomy and physiology of the muscular system and learns the mechanical influence it has on the skeletal systems to produce joint movement. A study of posture and gait and functional activity is also included as well as an analysis of human posture and movement in normal and abnormal states. The course includes palpation of anatomical structures and study of the principles of biomechanics including arthrokinematics, osteokinematics, and kinetics.
Foundations of Physical Therapy
This course introduces the complex role of the physical therapist in today’s evolving healthcare environment. Content includes a discussion of the responsibilities of the physical therapist to clients, families, colleagues, the profession, and the community. A discussion regarding the interprofessional nature of clinical practice including a review of the responsibilities of every member of the clinical team will be included. The concept of clinical decision-making and reasoning and the focus on patient-centered outcomes and clinical expertise will be emphasized. Topics will include: Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, documentation, practice act, code of ethics, guide to professional conduct, altruistic service, entrepreneurialism, professional advocacy, respecting patients’ rights and autonomy, cultural competency, physical therapy as a doctoring profession, autonomous practice, physician-owned physical therapy practices, evidence-based practice, direct access, delegation and supervision, the role of PT in health, wellness, and prevention, professional development plans, Vision 2020, clinical specialization and board certification, organization and history of the American Physical Therapy Association
Education and Communication in Physical Therapy
This course will explore the educational and communication role of physical therapist as learners and educators with a focus on the education of clients, families, peers, health professionals and community members. Educational activities/roles for physical therapist, which include those within the classroom, clinic and beyond will be defined including community advocate, political action and pro bono work will be explored through active learning experiences. Emphasis will be placed on teaching, learning and motivation theories, learning styles and their applicability in the clinical, professional and academic environments. Students will focus on how to assess the needs of the learner, instructional design, instructional methods and evaluation of learning, including how to effectively educate others using culturally appropriate teaching method. This course is a blended course and will deliver 30%-75% of the content electronically which will allow for concurrent integration and reflect of education and communication activities while in a clinical setting. Students will participate in a community engagement project.
Physical Therapy Procedures I
This course consists of basic physical therapy interventions administered by a physical therapist in a clinical setting. Students will be taught and practice basic interventions, which can be applied to all patient populations, from three major components that comprise all physical therapy interventions. These components include: 1) coordination, communication, and documentation, 2) patient/client–related instruction, and 3) procedural interventions. Specific interventions covered in this course are divided into 3 units and include; Unit One: Functional Training(Self-care, Home Management Prescription and Application of Devices and Equipment), Manual Therapy (including therapeutic exercise) and Physical Agents. Communication/collaboration (verbal and nonverbal) across disciplines and settings and documentation including electronic documentation will be covered throughout each unit. Physical agents include Cryotherapy (cold packs, ice massage, vapocoolant spray), Hydrotherapy (contrast bath, pools, whirlpool tanks), Thermotherapy (dry heat, hot packs, paraffin baths) and, gravity assisted devices (tilt table) and CPM. Manual Therapy includes PROM, therapeutic massage and an introduction to therapeutic exercise. Functional training includes activities of daily living training, device and equipment use and training, injury prevention, wheel chairs,and prescription and application of assistive devices. The application of these interventions will be explored through patient case examples. Lecture and laboratory components prepare students for direct patient care.
Foundations of Clinical Examination and Evaluation
This course includes exploration into the concepts related to examination, evaluation, and the collection of clinical data. Course content includes the administration and interpretation of clinical tests and measures pertaining to various body systems, screening to determine the need for physical therapy services or referral to other practitioners, assessment of general health status, and functional capacity. An emphasis will be placed on clinical decision-making in the use of clinical data to construct a physical therapy diagnosis, develop an appropriate plan of care, and evaluate outcomes. More specifically, students will develop proficiency in: obtaining a relevant history and engaging in a subjective interview, examination of vital signs, measurement of joint motion, measurement of strength and muscle function, measurement of edema, identification of structural deficits, assessment of pain, administration and evaluation of disability questionnaires, functional examination, the use of standardized tests and measures, and dynamometry. The principles of clinical decision-making, differential diagnosis, goal-setting, and the development of a physical therapy plan of care based on data collected during the examination will be explored.
Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy Practice I: Musculoskeletal Physiology and Pathophysiology
This course begins with a clinical approach to normal functioning physiological systems that are most relevant to the practice of musculoskeletal physical therapy as the foundation for a discussion of pathophysiology. The course begins with a regional approach to normal clinical physiology of the musculoskeletal system and progresses into discussion regarding selected syndromes impacting the musculoskeletal system. Content will cover the incidence/prevalence, etiology, clinical signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, diagnostic imaging procedures, medical/surgical/pharmacologic management, as well as prognosis and potential for recovery for selected musculoskeletal conditions. The implications of each syndrome on Physical Therapy practice and evidence-based guidelines used in the management of these conditions will be reviewed. Using a regional approach, students will learn important features of selected conditions that will serve as the basis for future courses (DPT 616, DPT 617).
Neuromuscular Physical Therapy Practice I: Neuromuscular Physiology and Pathophysiology
This course begins with a clinical approach to normal functioning physiological systems that are most relevant to the practice of neuromuscular physical therapy as the foundation for a discussion of pathophysiology. The course begins with a regional approach to normal clinical physiology of the neuromuscular system and progresses into discussion regarding selected syndromes impacting the neuromuscular system that range across the lifespan. Content will cover the incidence/prevalence, etiology, clinical signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, diagnostic imaging procedures, introduction to medical/surgical/pharmacologic management, as well as prognosis and potential for recovery of selected neuromuscular conditions. The implications of each syndrome on Physical Therapy practice and evidence-based guidelines used in the management of these conditions will be reviewed. Students will learn important features of selected conditions that will serve as the basis for future courses (DPT 620, DPT 621).
DPT 522 & 523
Clinical Practice I & II
The purpose of this course is to introduce and prepare the students for clinical experiences within the first academic year. Students will participate in pre-clinical activities focusing on legal regulations of clinical practice, personal and client safety, and personal health. Students will have an opportunity to explore their preferred learning styles and personality traits, which will help students to understand how they learn and process information and will enable them to develop strategies to enhance their learning potential. Students will have an opportunity to identify their individual personality traits in order to provide them with instidght into their motivation, actions and communication approaches and to understand these aspects in others. . In the clinical settings, students will work one-to-one with a supervisor to observe clinical practice and practice newly learned concepts. An emphasis is placed on professional behavior and self-assessment of one’s professional behavior. This is the first of four part-time internships and students will be placed inpatient or outpatient settings that emphasis physical therapy management of patients with musculoskeletal disorders.
Clinical Practice III
The purpose of this course is to foster the development of entry-level physical therapy skills in a non-specialized inpatient or outpatient setting. This is the first of four full-time clinical practice courses, which will occur in the third semester of the curriculum for 6weeks. Under the supervision of a clinical instructor, students will practice physical therapy examination, evaluation, PT diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention procedures for individuals with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. Development of professional behaviors is an important component throughout the clinical practice series and students will have opportunities for self-assessment, self-reflection, peer and supervisory assessment. Students will be expected to perform at the Beginning performance and/or Advanced beginner performance by the conclusion of this internship as described by APTA’s Clinical Performance Instrument.
Health Care Policy & Issues in P.T.
This course is designed to introduce students to current issues within the national health care arena that impact health care and the profession of physical therapy. Such topics include: cultural competency, entitlement, rationing, consent, confidentiality and HIPAA, chronic illness and disability, epidemiology, beneficence, autonomy, ADA, reimbursement, health disparity, and health care advocacy. This course will review issues and explore cases related to the ethical and legal dimensions of health care and standards that govern practice. Various aspects of health care policy will be explored, which include current legislation that is most relevant to healthcare and the profession of physical therapy. Current issues related to the practice of physical therapy will include: malpractice, direct access, delegation and supervision, legal issues and liability, documentation, quality assurance and outcomes assessment, evidence-based/informed practice, expertise and clinical specialization, and ethical dilemmas currently facing the physical therapist. In addition, the course will cover the concept of disability, including several models used to classify disability. A discussion regarding the impact of disability and disease on individuals, family, and society will provide a framework for students to appreciate the complex role of the physical therapist in managing clients as individuals with needs that go beyond the physical realm.
Physical Therapy Procedures II
This course provides an investigation into the use of electrotherapy as a diagnostic and treatment agent and explores the principles and practices of physical agents in physical therapy. The principles of electrodiagnostics and electrical stimulation will be covered in depth. The electrotherapy unit includes a discussion of electrophysiology, the instrumentation and application of various types of electrical stimulation modalities, as well as low level laser, and biofeedback. Topics include electrical muscle stimulation, electrical stimulation for tissue repair, functional electrical stimulation, high voltage pulsed current, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. This unit is competency based, with ample practice time devoted to the appropriate utilization of electrotherapy as a treatment choice. As a continuation from DPT 508, the second half of this course includes instruction in the principles and practice of physical agents and modalities including such topics as: ultrasound, phonophoresis, infrared, laser, ultraviolet, compression bandages, garments, and taping, total contact casting, vasopneumatic compression devices, manual lymph drainage, diathermy, as well as intermittent, positional, and sustained mechanical traction.
Foundations of Clinical Research I
This course focuses on the application of clinical research principles to physical therapy practice. Students will be introduced to the concepts of measurement, research design, analysis and communication of physical therapy related research. A primary objective is for students to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skill necessary to obtain and critically read research relevant for physical therapy practice. Students will begin to interpret and apply published research through an understanding of the statistics and different methods of research. Concepts of evidence-based practice, ethics in research, development of a research question, searching the literature, appropriate referencing, and scientific writing style will be explored.
Both quantitative and qualitative research designs will be introduced, however, an emphasis will be placed on exploring the nuances of quantitative research designs in physical therapy. Topics include: measurement theory, descriptive statistics, measures of variability, single subject designs, parametric and non-parametric statistics, inference, correlation and regression, reliability, sensitivity/specificity, and the use of SPSS software. The course focuses on the application of principles of clinical research to physical therapy practice. The student is expected to become proficient in the interpretation of published research by demonstrating knowledge of the application of statistics and different methods of research. The course also focuses on critically examining the psychometric properties of tests and measures of health status, body function, and structure, activity, and participation.
Musculoskeletal P.T. Practice II
This course includes a regional approach to musculoskeletal examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and prognosis of musculoskeletal conditions of the upper and lower extremity. Students will utilize evidence-based examination procedures to establish a differential diagnosis that informs intervention. The intervention aspect of the course includes the theory and practical application of therapeutic exercise and manual interventions. The principles of range of motion, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, mobilization, stretching, and progressive resistance activities are included, in addition to a review of adjunctive interventions. A review of common syndromes impacting the extremities throughout the lifespan will be reviewed with a discussion and practical application of a variety of proposed evidence-based physical therapy interventions.
Musculoskeletal P.T. Practice III
This course includes a regional approach to musculoskeletal examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and prognosis of musculoskeletal spinal conditions. Students will utilize evidence-based examination procedures to establish a differential diagnosis that informs intervention. The intervention aspect of the course includes the theory and practical application of therapeutic exercise and manual interventions. The principles of range of motion, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, mobilization, stretching, and progressive resistance activities are included, in addition to a review of adjunctive interventions. A review of common syndromes impacting the spine throughout the lifespan will be reviewed with a discussion and practical application of a variety of proposed evidence-based physical therapy interventions. Additional topics will include womens’ health, aquatic therapy, aerobic fitness training, and health, wellness, and prevention, and functional capacity evaluations and work hardening/conditioning. Throughout the course, an emphasis will be placed on evidence-based, clinical decision making. This course will also include a review of concepts related to exercise physiology.
Neuromuscular P.T. Practice II
This course will build on the content contained in DPT 520 and will focus on physical therapy examination and intervention of individuals with impairments of the central nervous system throughout the lifespan. Students will explore a variety of physical therapy management principles and procedures for individuals seen in the acute care, post-acute rehabilitation, skilled nursing, transitional care unit, and home health care practice settings with diagnoses of cerebral vascular accident, cerebral palsy and other pediatric neuromuscular disorders, Parkinson’s disease, disorders of the cerebellum, cognitive deficits and neglect, and other neuromuscular movement disorders. The principles of evidence-based practice will be applied to examination and intervention of individuals with neuromuscular impairments including NDT, constraint-induced therapy, CIT and partial weight gait training, management of spasticity, balance training, motor learning, advanced gait training.
Neuromuscular P.T. Practice III
This course will build on the content contained in DPT 520 and DPT 620 and will focus on physical therapy examination and intervention of individuals with impairments of the central nervous system. Students will explore a variety of physical therapy management principles and procedures for individuals seen in the post-acute rehabilitation setting with diagnoses of cerebral vascular accident, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and other neuromuscular movement disorders. The principles of evidence-based practice will be applied to examination and intervention including attention, memory, language, executive function, motor learning, and advanced wheelchair prescription, and principles of gait training and locomotion. This course will also include a unit on prosthetics and orthotics that includes evidence-based principles related to prescription, fitting, and training within the context of physical therapy.
DPT 622 & 623
Clinical Practice IV & V
The purpose of this course is to provide students with opportunities to apply newly learned concepts and skills within the clinical setting. The focus of course is on clinical observation and supervised application of appropriate examination and intervention skills/procedures. An emphasis is placed on professional behavior and self-assessment of one’s professional behavior. This is the third of four part-time internships and students will be placed inpatient or outpatient settings that emphasis physical therapy management of patients with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and cardiovascular/pulmonary disorders. Expectations for professional behavior and skills assessment will be commensurate with current course objectives.
Clinical Practice VI
The purpose of this course is to foster the development of entry-level physical therapy skills in a non-specialized inpatient OR outpatient setting (which ever was not completed in DPT524). This is the second of four full time clinical internships and will occur in the sixth semester of the curriculum for 6 weeks. Under the supervision of a clinical instructor, students will practice physical therapy examination, evaluation, PT diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention procedures for individuals with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. Development of professional behaviors is an important component throughout the clinical practice series and students will have opportunities for self-assessment, self-reflection, peer and supervisory assessment. Students will be excepted to perform at the Intermediate Performance and/or Advanced Intermediate Performance as assessed by APTA’s Clinical Performance Instrument
Cardiopulmonary P.T. Practice I
Structure and function of the cardiopulmonary system which provides the foundation for the series of cardiopulmonary courses including histology and physiology with clinical application. This course will focus on the normal and abnormal physiology of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems in the practice of physical therapy across the lifespan. A review of principles related to exercise physiology and normal and abnormal cardiorespiratory response to exercise. A review of selected conditions of the cardiopulmonary system will address the incidence/prevalence, etiology, clinical signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, diagnostic imaging procedures, medical/surgical/pharmacologic management, as well as prognosis and potential for recovery for selected conditions. This course is used to build a foundation for courses later in the curriculum which will address the examination, evaluation and intervention of patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions.
Cardiopulmonary P.T. Practice II
Cardiopulmonary examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention. This course includes a regional approach to the physical therapy management of the cardiopulmonary system in a variety of practice settings ranging from acute care to outpatient that builds on DPT 628. This course will focus on developing and refining examination and intervention skills in patients with acute pathologies. The course will include a didactic and lab component intended to develop the students’ hands on ability in performing skills such as strength, ROM assessment, balance, coordination, proprioception, auscultation of the heart and lungs, chest wall excursion and breathing pattern. In addition, students will gain exposure to intervention skills, including not only functional mobility, but also airway clearance and chest wall mobility techniques. Cases encountered in this class will encompass the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, integumentary and cardiopulmonary systems. A portion of the course will be devoted to the principles of exercise physiology and students will be exposed to principles and practices designed to evaluate the body’s response to exercise and implement interventions designed to improve cardiorespiratory and metabolic function through exercise.
Administration & Management in P.T.
This course exposes and introduces students to concepts related to the principles of management and supervision with special application to the physical therapy setting. Such topics will include: human resource management, billing procedures/reimbursement/software, business development and planning, entrepreneurship, organization of the work environment, risk management, material safety, employee feedback/mentorship/evaluation, student supervision, professional consultation, writing job descriptions, interviewing skills, ADA, patient bill of rights, financial management, quality assurance, HIPAA, marketing, workers’ compensation, documentation, private practice and clinic development, POPTS and competition and marketing, recruiting, licensure, OSHA/JCAHO/CARF guidelines and accreditation.
Management of Medical/Surgical Conditions, Diagnostics, and Pharmacotherapeutics
This course is designed to introduce students to common medical and surgical conditions that may be encountered within the physical therapy setting. Lecture and discussion will focus on the etiology, pathogenesis, sequelae, clinical signs and symptoms, and prognosis for a wide range of common conditions impacting multiple body systems. A regional and systems-based approach will be adopted that allows students to appreciate the interdependence of body systems on one another. The impact of selected conditions on the physical therapy diagnosis, progression, outcome, and prognosis will be emphasized. The medical and surgical management of selected conditions will also be provided which emphasizes the impact of these procedures on physical therapy. Discussion will include a review of post-surgical protocols and precautions.
This course will also include instruction in a wide range of diagnostic testing procedures used in current medical practice. A variety of diagnostic imaging procedures will be discussed, including plain film radiography, CT Scan, Scintigraphy, MRI, arthrography, angiography, EMG/NCV, lab values, among others, with an emphasis on the use of these procedures to assist in differential diagnosis. The diagnostic imaging component of the course emphasizes reading and interpreting films, identifying basic radiographic anatomy, and the correlation of findings in the context of clinical cases.
The pharmacology component of the course uses a case-based approach to studying the impact of pharmacotherapeutics on clinical decision making in physical therapy. The course is designed to develop a basic understanding of drug pharmacology and how to apply these concepts to the practice of physical therapy. Emphasis is placed on the mechanism of action of drugs, pharmacokinetics, side effects and therapeutic use. The overall goal is to foster an understanding of how pharmacological interventions may impact physical therapy care.
Foundations of Clinical Research II
This course is an introduction to qualitative research with an emphasis on the role that qualitative research fills in the evidence-based practice of physical therapy. The course will cover the assumptions of the qualitative paradigm, include a comparison to the quantitative paradigm, and discuss multimodal research where both paradigms are used together. Students will have opportunities to critically appraise the qualitative literature related to physical therapy.
DPT 713 & 714
Clinical Research Seminar I & II
This course provides students the opportunity to explore a specific research question related to physical therapy. In groups, students will have the opportunity to apply principles obtained in prior coursework to a specific research project in collaboration with a DPT faculty member. This course is the first of a two-part seminar series which guides students from the development of a research question, literature search, development of methodology, data collection, statistical analysis, and culminates in a presentation and/or publication.
Clinical Practice VII
DPT 724 Clinical Practice VII is a 12 week full-time clinical internship that occurs post didactic and is empowers (or facilitates) the student’s practice of entry-level physical therapy skills and enable a more accurate assessment of each student’s entry level proficiency. This internship will take place in either a rehabilitation setting where 40% or greater of patients have neuromuscular diagnosis or a specialized clinical setting of the student choice. Students will be placed in the alternative clinical setting for DPT 725. Students are expected to perform at the Advance Intermediate or Entry-Level levels as described in APTA’s Clinical Performance Instrument in a variety of setting with patient populations that range from generalized, complex and may include specialty areas.
Clinical Practice VIII
DPT 725 Clinical Practice VIII is a 12 week full-time clinical internship that occurs post didactic and is empowers (or facilitates) the student’s practice of entry-level physical therapy skills and enable a more accurate assessment of each student’s entry level proficiency. This internship will take place in either a rehabilitation setting where 40% or greater of patients have neuromuscular diagnosis or a specialized clinical setting of the student choice. Students will be placed in the alternative clinical setting completed for DPT 724. Students are expected to perform at the Advance Intermediate or Entry-Level levels as described in APTA’s Clinical Performance Instrument in a variety of setting with patient populations that range from generalized, complex and may include specialty areas.
Integumentary Physical Therapy Practice
This course will explore physical therapy in the management of patients with integumentary conditions. This will include a study of normal and abnormal structures and function of the integumentary system and pathological alteration of structure and function. A general foundation in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions and outcomes for persons with various types of wounds will be provided. Application of specific tests and measures, their reliability and validity, and efficacy of treatment interventions will be covered. Clinical reasoning and decision making will be fostered through multiple case studies.
Integumentary Physical Therapy Elective
This course provides specialized education on wound care practice for physical therapist. The course is intended for students who are interested in developing advanced knowledge and skill in all aspects of wound care. Content covered in this course will include but not limited to advanced modalities (mechanical, biological, pharmaceutical), up to date and evidence based interventions, and business and marketing (billing, coding, practice management). Students will also have an opportunity to additional observation and hands-on clinical practice.
Pediatric Physical Therapy Elective
This course provides an in depth study of the practice of pediatric physical therapy. Tests and evaluations used in pediatric practice will be covered as part of a discussion of the entire evaluative process used in pediatrics. Physical therapy diagnosis and management of the broad array of clinical presentations seen in pediatrics will be discussed and practiced. The role of physical therapy in a variety of settings including home, clinical settings (out-patient and in-patient), educational environments and play environments will be discussed. Additional topics include the role of the family, use and procurement of special equipment, laws related to physical therapy as a related service and effective team membership.
Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Elective
This course is designed to provide the student with an eclectic, entry-level knowledge of orthopaedic manual physical therapy strategies currently in use for the management of patients with musculoskeletal impairment. These strategies will range from soft tissue mobilization techniques to direct and indirect joint mobilization techniques for the spine and extremities. Lab activities, which will comprise the majority of the course, will focus on developing entry-level proficiency in a variety of techniques, including thrust and non-thrust mobilization, that may be immediately translated into direct clinical practice. Lecture will focus on providing the theoretical framework and scientific evidence to substantiate the use of each methodology covered. An emphasis will be placed on the integration of evidence-based manual techniques into a comprehensive physical therapy examination and intervention plan.
This course is composed of the preparation and administration of a comprehensive examination. This examination is the culminating experience of the program, which reflects mastery of the didactic component of the physical therapy curriculum. The examination is 3 hours in duration and is comprised of 3 sets of 50 multiple choice questions. Passage of this exam is required for graduation.
Effective November 12, 2014, the Physical Therapy Program at Alvernia University has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.