DPT I COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Course Number: DPT 500
Course Name: 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.

 

Course Number: DPT 502
Course Name: Kinesiology

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.

 

Course Number: DPT 503
Course Name: Applied Physiology for Physical Therapy Practice

This course covers the study of human physiology, addressing normal physiological functions in the body systems and how physical activity and environmental factors impact human physiology. Topics addressed include normal functions of the major body systems at the molecular, cellular, tissue and systems level. The major systems include musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and nervous, integumentary, cardiovascular and pulmonary, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and lymphatic systems, and the discussions will include homeostasis, cellular metabolism and signaling, nutrition and nutrient exchange, exercise, and mechanisms that defend the body against injury and promote healing. It will provide a foundation for the discussion of normal physiologic systems across the lifespan. The integrative nature of physiological responses in normal function and human movement is stressed throughout the course.

 

Course Number: DPT 504
Course Name: Practice Management I

DPT 504 is the first of three Practice Management courses that address topics within non-clinical physical therapy practice that spans all clinical/non-clinical settings and continuum of care. Topics include ethical, legal, and professional aspects of physical therapy practice. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the profession of physical therapy and the role of the professional in physical therapist practice as well as in today’s evolving healthcare environment. Students will learn about the APTA, vision of APTA, core values, and legal and ethical responsibilities as healthcare professionals to clients, families, colleagues, the profession, and the community. The concept of evidence-based practice and its significance to physical therapist practice will be emphasized. Further, basic knowledge and skills to become critical consumers of rehabilitation literature will be introduced. A discussion regarding the interprofessional nature of clinical practice including a review of the responsibilities of every member of the clinical team will be emphasized. This course will also introduce patient rights, education and communication, teaching and learning, cultural competency, professional development. Current issues, such as physician-owned physical therapy practices, direct access, and delegation and supervision will be discussed.

 

Course Number: DPT 505
Course Name: DPT 505 Practice Management II

DPT 505 is the second of three Practice Management courses that address topics within non-clinical physical therapy practice that spans all practice settings and continuum of care. Topics in this course will addresses physical therapy roles in national and global health care including our role in the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases. Included in this course is an understanding of national and global health care, health care cost, insurance and ethics. Concepts from Practice Management I including ethical, legal, education and communication, cultural competency, health literacy, documentation and professional aspects of non-clinical patient management will be reinforced through case-based, stimulated learning experiences. A discussion regarding the interprofessional nature of clinical practice including a review of the responsibilities of every member of the clinical team will be emphasized.

 

Course Number: DPT 508
Course Name: 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.

 

Course Number: DPT 509
Course Name: Foundations of Clinical Examination and Evaluation

This course introduces the student to the physical therapy examination, evaluation, and collection of clinical data. The course focuses on introducing psychomotor performance and interpretation of examination procedures that are applicable to all practice settings and across the lifespan. Performing and interpreting systems review and review of systems will be emphasized. Examination procedures include test and measures and outcome measures including assessment of general health status and functional capacity. The International Classification of Function (ICF) will be introduced as a data collection and clinical decision-making tool. Specific content and skills to be introduced include: observation, subjective interview and history taking, systems review, screening for risk, objective examination of cardiorespiratory status (vital signs), postural alignment, joint range of motion, motor function (strength, muscle tone, reflexes), cranial nerve, sensory integrity, anthropometrics (edema, atrophy, etc), and pain. Newly-acquired knowledge and skills will be reinforced through Integrated Clinical Experiences (ICE). Students will be placed in inpatient or outpatient settings and under the direction of a licensed physical therapist. Students will participate in structured clinical observation and supervised application of those examination and intervention skills/procedures learned within the classroom setting. An emphasis will be placed on professional behaviors with self-assessment. Expectations for professional behavior and skills performance will be commensurate with course objectives.

 

Course Number: DPT 512
Course Name: Critical Inquiry I

DPT 512 is the first course within a series of Critical Inquiry courses that culminate in an original research project that will be completed and presented prior to graduation. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to basic research skills for clinical research and as a requisite for evidence-based practice. Under the guidance of the Faculty Research Advisor, students are engaged in the development of a small group research project. within that advisor’s line of scholarly inquiry. Students will identify an aim of the research project, advance skills in literature search and review, complete a thorough review of the literature, develop skills in the assessment of methodologic quality, and develop a clearly defined research (PICO) question based upon the “gap” identified in the available literature. These learning experiences are designed to enhance each student’s ability to critically appraise the literature and engage in the process of designing, conducting, and presenting clinical research.

 

Course Number: DPT 513
Course Name: Critical Inquiry II

The purpose of this course is to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to critically appraise research designs as well as research findings relevant to physical therapy practice. This course will introduce both quantitative and qualitative research designs. In the quantitative research design, statistical analyses including the concepts of measurement, research design, analysis and communication of research findings will be introduced. In the qualitative research design, foundational concepts related to qualitative research will be introduced with an emphasis on the role that qualitative research fills in the evidence-based practice of physical therapy. Topics include: descriptive statistics, measures of variability, single subject designs, parametric and non-parametric statistics, inference, correlation and
regression, reliability and validity, sensitivity and specificity, sampling, the use of SPSS software, comparisons between research designs, and a discussion of multimodal research designs. The course also focuses on critically examining the psychometric properties of tests and measures of health status, body function and structure, activity, and participation. These topics will be presented with a focus on the application of clinical research principles to physical therapy practice. At the end of the course, students are expected to become proficient in the interpretation of published research by demonstrating knowledge of the application of statistics and different methods of research. Students will have opportunities to critically appraise the quantitative and qualitative literature related to physical therapy, as well as to develop the statistical analysis methodology commensurate with the previously established PICO question in DPT 512.

 

Course Number: DPT 516
Course Name: Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy Practice I: Physiology and Pathophysiology

This course begins with a review of 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 progresses into discussion regarding selected syndromes impacting the musculoskeletal system that range across the lifespan. 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 of 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). Students will also be introduced to the concepts of exercise physiology that will be revisited within other courses throughout the curriculum.

 

Course Number: DPT 520
Course Name: Neuromuscular Physical Therapy Practice I: Neuroscience

This first course within the neuromuscular track, DPT 520 Neuromuscular Physical Therapy Practice is designed to reinforce and apply foundational knowledge in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, as requisite knowledge for the discussion of neuroscience and normal versus pathological neurophysiologic systems across the lifespan. Content will introduce the pathophysiology, structural imaging and medical diagnostics, clinical presentation and incidence/prevalence of common disorders, and finally, an introduction to medical and rehabilitation management. The clinical implications of each disease, disorder or syndrome on Physical Therapy evaluation and intervention will be introduced through diagnostic clinical reasoning activities and case application. Principles of neuroplasticity, as well as motor learning and motor control will be reinforced as related to pathological neurophysiologic systems. This knowledge will serve as the basis for future courses (DPT 620, DPT 621, DPT 804 elective). Content will parallel and support student understanding of the clinical and diagnostic relevance of examination skills learned in DPT 509, relating them to central and peripheral nervous system structures and functions.

 

Course Number: DPT 522
Course Name: Foundations of Clinical Practice

This course will embrace the regulatory and clinical procedures directly related to clinical practice. The intention of this preparatory course is to enhance each student’s ability to engage in patient management and evidence-based practice. The course includes an introduction to professional behavior expectations for clinical practice, compliance with HIPAA and OSHA regulations, medical terminology, documentation requirements, and reimbursement/ coding and billing procedures, emergency preparedness, and recognizing abuse. Students will further explore inter-professional interactions specific to patient related cases. This course serves as a foundation for the multiple clinical practice learning experiences the students will engage in as a requirement for graduation.

 

Course Number: DPT 524
Course Name: Clinical Practice I

The purpose of this clinical practice course is to foster students’ development of entry-level physical therapy skills. This is the first of four full-time clinical practice courses occurring in the third semester of the curriculum and lasting 4 weeks. This course is designed to support the translation of didactic learning experiences to clinical practice. Under the direct supervision of a Clinical Instructor, each student will further develop and demonstrate competence in clinical skills, critical thinking, professional behaviors, and administrative aspects of physical therapy practice against established benchmarks. Students will perform physical therapy examination, evaluation, PT diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention skills for individuals with impairments and/or movement limitations in one or more body systems. Development of professional behaviors is an important component throughout the clinical practice series and students will have opportunities for self-assessment, self-reflection, and opportunities to receive feedback provided by their Clinical Instructors. Students will be exposed to a variety of patient care experiences which incorporate multiple system diagnoses and impairments across the lifespan and the continuum of care. In addition, students will be critically assessed by their Clinical Instructors against benchmarks commensurate with their learning within the didactic curriculum and will assess their own performance of clinical skills and professional behaviors. By the conclusion of this full-time clinical experience, students are expected to perform at the “Advanced Beginner Performance Level” as delineated by the APTA Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument.

 

Course Title: DPT 528
Course Name: Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Practice I

This course introduces mechanisms of pathophysiology that contribute to changes in the body structures and functions of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. These changes can result in specific conditions, diseases, and disorders that physical therapists encounter across the lifespan. Diseases and disorders of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems are highly prevalent worldwide, and some are considered noncommunicable diseases associated with key psychosocial risk factors and sedentary behaviors. Dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system can also result from injuries to other body systems and/or systemic conditions. Selected disorders of the cardiopulmonary system will be introduced, including incidence and prevalence, etiology (including modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors), clinical signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, diagnostic testing and imaging, medical/surgical/pharmacologic management, and prognosis for recovery at the levels of body structures and function. Students will build a knowledge foundation for courses later in the curriculum, which will advance the development of clinical skills related to the examination, evaluation, and intervention for patients with primary or secondary cardiovascular and pulmonary system involvement.

 

DPT II Course Descriptions

Course Number: DPT 604
Course Name: Health Care Policy and Issues in Physical Therapy

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.

 

Course Number: DPT 608
Course Name: 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.

 

Course Number: DPT 612
Course Name: 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.

 

Course Number: DPT 616
Course Name: Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy Practice II: Extremities

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.

 

Course Number: DPT 617
Course Name: Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy Practice III: Spine

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.

 

Course Number: DPT 620
Course Title: Neuromuscular Physical Therapy 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.

 

Course Number: DPT 621
Course Title: Neuromuscular Physical Therapy 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.

 

Course Number: DPT 622
Course Name: Clinical Practice III

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. This course will also include a clinical research component. Students will work collaboratively in groups under the advisement of Program faculty. This is one course in a series of courses that culminates in an original research project that will be completed and presented prior to graduation. These learning experiences are designed to enhance students’ ability to critically appraise the literature and engage in the process of designing, conducting, and presenting clinical research.

 

Course Number: DPT 623
Course Name: Critical Inquiry I

This is one course in a series of courses which culminate in an original research project that will be completed and presented prior to graduation. The intention of DPT623 is to enhance each student’s abilities to engage in evidence-based practice and clinical research. For continuing development of the research project, students work collaboratively in groups under the advisement of Program Faculty. These learning experiences are designed to enhance each student’s abilities to critically appraise the literature and engage in the process of designing, conducting, and presenting clinical research.

 

Course Number: DPT 624
Course Name: Clinical Practice IV

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 expected to perform at the Intermediate Performance and/or Advanced Intermediate Performance as assessed by APTA’s Clinical Performance Instrument.

 

Course Number: DPT 628
Course Name: Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Practice I: Physiology and Pathophysiology

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.

 

Course Number: DPT 629
Course Name: Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy 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.

 

Course Number: DPT 600
Course Name: International Service Learning Experience (ISLE)

This course is designed to advance the understanding and practice of inter-professional health care in a global health environment. Students in the health professions will intentionally collaborate via inter-professional learning activities to achieve the common goal of a safer and better patient/client-centered and community-oriented health care system. Students will explore the origins, practices and ethical standards of participating with a variety of health care professions in the global health arena. Students will integrate culturally responsive health care and inter-professional leadership strategies to understand and address problems of health care inequality and injustice. A final project of the course will be the creation of educational tools for community health workers (CHW) in Belize. As part of the final project, students will prepare resources for CHW addressing prevention, promotive, interventions that are culturally sensitive and based on national context and health needs. Students will travel to the Belize and engage in the exchange of healthcare education at the Inspiration Center, Mercy Clinic, Life Age, and YWCA. Students will interact with physical therapists and healthcare professionals in these clinics, and develop a group project to present to the participating clinics to address ongoing training needs due to limited resources. Students will also have the opportunity to tour local sites to observe current efforts to address the needs of the disabled.

 

DPT III Course Descriptions

Course Number: DPT 704
Course Name: Administration and Management in Physical Therapy

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.

 

Course Number: DPT 708
Course Name: Integrated Physical Therapy Practice for Multiple Systems

This course engages the student in an analysis of the etiology, pathology, clinical sciences, and commonly- associated functional implications of endocrine, metabolic, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, lymphatics and integumentary diseases, disorders, and conditions. A regional and systems-based approach will be adopted that allows students to appreciate the interdependence of all body systems on one another. This course will enable students to examine and reexamine a patient with multiple systems problems by obtaining a pertinent history, by performing relevant systems review and by selection appropriate tests and measures. The students will synthesize examination data to determine the physical therapy diagnosis, progression, outcome, and prognosis, as well as the role of physical therapy in management of these conditions across the lifespan and continuum of care. Medical systems screening and analysis of diagnostic imaging will be expected as a component of patient examination, evaluation, and differential diagnosis, in order to identify concerning yellow and red flags, appropriateness for and degree of physical therapy participation, and medical referral when indicated. The pharmacology component will use a case-based approach to study the impact of pharmacotherapeutics on clinical decision making in physical therapy. The culminating experience of this course will be an interdisciplinary professional experience in the Alvernia University Nursing Simulation Lab, during which students will analyze a medical chart, utilize clinical skills developed in this course and others, collaborate with other allied health students on a simulated medical team, and competently evaluate a complex patient case.

 

Course Number: DPT 712
Course Name: 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.

 

Course Number: DPT 713
Course Name: Critical Inquiry 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.
This course will also include a clinical research component. Students will work collaboratively in groups under the advisement of Program faculty. This is one course in a series of courses that culminates in an original research project that will be completed and presented prior to graduation. These learning experiences are designed to enhance students’ ability to critically appraise the literature and engage in the process of designing, conducting, and presenting clinical research.

 

Course Number: DPT 714
Course Name: Critical Inquiry III

Credit/Contact Hours: 3/3 (3 hours of group discussion/method development/literature review/data collection/independent study)
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 second of a two-part seminar 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. This course will also include a clinical research component. Students will work collaboratively in groups under the advisement of Program faculty. This is one course in a series of courses that culminates in an original research project that will be completed and presented prior to graduation. These learning experiences are designed to enhance students’ ability to critically appraise the literature and engage in the process of designing, conducting, and presenting clinical research.


Course Number: DPT 724
Course Name: Clinical Practice V

The purpose of this clinical internship is to foster the development of the entry-level physical therapist in the outpatient/inpatient orthopedic or neuromuscular settings. This 12-week internship occurs following the completion of all didactic course work. Under the supervision of a clinical instructor, students will practice advanced physical therapy examination, evaluation, PT diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention procedures for individuals with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. Students will be expected to perform at the Advanced Intermediate or Entry-level performance as assessed by the APTA Clinical Performance Instrument.

 

Course Number: DPT 725
Course Name: Clinical Practice VI

The purpose of this clinical internship is to foster the development of the entry-level physical therapist in the outpatient/inpatient orthopedic or neuromuscular settings. This 12-week internship occurs following the completion of all didactic course work. Under the supervision of a clinical instructor, students will practice advanced physical therapy examination, evaluation, PT diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention procedures for individuals with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. Students will be expected to perform at Entry-level performance as assessed by the APTA Clinical Performance Instrument.

 

Course Number: DPT 732
Course Name: Physical Therapy Practice on an Interdisciplinary Team

This course examines the role of physical therapists within the interdisciplinary health care team and prepares students to be fully integrated into comprehensive patient care across diverse health care settings. Students will investigate the processes of medical systems screening for differential diagnosis, interpret basic medical imaging, analyze the effects of selected medical and surgical interventions, and evaluate implications of pharmacology regimens on physical therapy practice. Medical systems screening and analysis of diagnostic imaging will be expected as a component of patient examination, evaluation, and differential diagnosis, in order to identify concerning yellow and red flags, appropriateness for and degree of physical therapy participation, and referral to the most appropriate medical provider when indicated. The pharmacology component will use a case-based approach to study the impact of pharmacotherapeutics on clinical decision making in physical therapy. Clinical reasoning skills will be evaluated during a variety of learning experiences, including an interdisciplinary professional experience in the Alvernia University Nursing Simulation Lab, during which students will analyze a medical chart, utilize clinical skills developed in this course and others, collaborate with other allied health students on a simulated medical team, and competently evaluate a complex patient case with multiple body system involvement.

 

Course Number: DPT 810
Course Name: Comprehensive Examination

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 4 hours and 15 minutes in duration and is comprised of 200 multiple choice questions. Passage of this exam is required for graduation.

 

Course Number: DPT 590
Course Name: Comprehensive Examination

This course is composed of a comprehensive examination for students who failed DPT 810. The passage of the examination reflects mastery of the didactic component of the physical therapy curriculum. Students must create their own plans for remediation. The examination is 4 hours and 15 minutes in duration and is comprised of 200 multiple choice questions. Passage of this exam is required for graduation.

 

Course Number: DPT 804
Course Name: Special Topics: Advanced Neurologic Physical Therapy Practice

This Case-Management course will build on the content contained in Neuromuscular Physical Therapy Practice I-III (DPT 520, 620 and 621) and integrate learning from all previous didactic course content. This is a clinically-based course that will focus on advancing physical therapy management of adults or children with complex movement dysfunction resulting from acquired and/or congenital CNS disorders. Students will be asked to integrate information from previous courses, research the literature, and seek expert guidance to advance skills, deliver and document evidence-base interventions. Using case-based management principles, as part of each intervention, students will explore broad interventions and physical therapy best practice for individuals with chronic neurologic diseases or disorders, including but not limited to cerebral, basal ganglia, or cerebellar disorders, brainstem dysfunction, autoimmune disorders of the CNS or PNS, complex balance/vestibular disorders and/or acquired loss of limb. Management plans will include service, advocacy, secondary/tertiary prevention, health and wellness, as well as prescription, use, and payment for basic and advanced assistive technologies. Students will pursue and develop advanced clinical skills and leadership in two populations/areas of practice. Students have the option to obtain professional certification in advanced assessment of the postural control system and intervention using advanced assistive technologies or other identified certification. Evidence of weekly advancement of skill and knowledge will be required, with individual measurement and objectives set by the student. A single written case report on one client, in a format appropriate for dissemination, will be the culminating requirement for successful course completion, and may support certification(s).

 

Course Number: DPT 806
Course Name: Sports Physical Therapy

This course will investigate the application of physical therapy evaluation and treatment to the athletic population. Rehabilitation of surgical and non-surgical injuries and conditions common among athletes will be studied. Stages of recovery will be considered in the development of an evaluation and plan of care with the goal of returning the active patient to their pre-injured level of participation. There will be a focus on development and implementation of strength and conditioning programs for post injury recovery as well as injury prevention and improvement of sports performance. Exercise concepts investigated will include isotonics, eccentrics, plyometrics, agility and other closed chain exercise regimens. There will be a focus on functional recovery with sports performance related exercises. Pre-season screening, on field and post-injury management of concussions will be covered. Basic taping techniques will be instructed with the student learning hands-on application of these techniques. A study of pre-season performance evaluation and screening will also be a part of this course. This class will be taught both in lecture and lab formats with an emphasis on experiential learning.

 

 

 

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Alvernia University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 610-568-1546 or email christopher.wise@alvernia.edu.


For more information regarding the process of accreditation, please contact the:

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-706-3245
Email: accreditation@apta.org

DPT Doctor of Physical Therapy