This course introduces the basic skills and procedures that form the foundation of the physical therapy educational program. The course content includes passive range of motion, draping, positioning, and fundamental functional activities such as transfers and ambulation with assistive devices. This course exposes students to the various roles of the physical therapist as an independent practitioner and in conjunction with other disciplines. The course also introduces the medical documentation and the fundamentals of patient and caregiver teaching in multiple situations, all of which are expanded upon in subsequent courses. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of the motor and interpersonal skills necessary to perform these procedures and to proficiently train patients and caregivers in the basic skills learned in the course.
This course introduces students to the foundational measurement tools used in physical therapy, using joint range of motion measurement and manual muscle testing as examples. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of the psychomotor and interpersonal skills necessary to perform these procedures. Biological, psychological, and social influences on these measurements are also addressed. Students are introduced to the documentation of these measurements within the framework of electronic medical record systems.
An in-depth study of clinical functional anatomy of the limbs and trunk, including osteology, arthrology, myology, neurology, angiology, and kinesiology. Biomechanics with application to the analysis of human movement is included. This course is designed to provide clinical knowledge and understanding of the neuromusculoskeletal systems as a foundation for the treatment of injury or disease via physical therapy.
This course provides a comprehensive exploration of the anatomy and physiology of the central and peripheral nervous systems, and the manner in which they integrate with nonneural systems to influence movement. Cellular and neurophysiologic foundations of movement science will be combined into an integrative complex dynamical systems approach to human movement.
This course introduces students to the concept of using research to inform clinical decision-making skills. Development of measurement and disciplined inquiry skills including emphasis on problem definition, research design, methodology, data analysis and statistical interpretation are stressed. Students learn to incorporate evidence into their PT practice and how to critically appraise multiple types of studies. The information is conveyed through didactic lectures, discussions, cases, and integrated journal club seminars. There is a large active learning component in this course. The overall goal of the course is to hone the student's ability to critically analyze the PT literature.
This course explores foundational understanding of what it means to be a professional in health care. Students delve into social issues: forces impacting health care, the role of legislative and political bodies as they relate to health care, social determinants -- their impact on health care, and healthcare seeking behavior. Students examine the PT Code of Ethics, the role of professional organizations as they impact health professionals, and apply the cognitive and emotional skills essential to navigating healthcare complexity and uncertainty. Students explore their own development as professionals fostering collective perspective-taking, tolerance, and empathy through group discussion and written reflection.
This course provides an overview of the etiology, incidence, pathology, and medical management of common cardiac and pulmonary conditions across the lifespan. Appropriate physical therapy examination and intervention strategies for individuals with either primary or secondary cardiac or pulmonary dysfunction are introduced both in the context of a specialized cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation setting as well as in general physical therapy practice.
This course is a study of ambulation including the biomechanics of gait. Normal gait frames the course, followed by study of orthotic interventions for the adult patient. Gait characteristics of individuals with lower extremity amputation and the role of physical therapists in gait training and prosthetic management of individuals with amputation complete the course.
This course provides the student with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform competent orthopedic musculoskeletal examinations, evaluations, and interventions for the lumbosacral spine and pelvis. There is coherent integration of this course with PT 639 and PT 642. Emphasis is placed on the development of declarative knowledge and clinical reasoning skills to perform an orthopedic examination and synthesize data to establish an evidence-informed physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of care. Laboratory experience comprises a large portion of this course, allowing for the optimal development of procedural knowledge. The basics of diagnostic imaging are also covered within this course and integrated into the clinical reasoning process.
This course provides the student with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform competent orthopedic musculoskeletal examinations, evaluations, and interventions for the lower extremity. There is coherent integration of this course with PT 638 and PT 642. Emphasis is placed on the development of declarative knowledge and clinical reasoning skills to perform an orthopedic examination and synthesize data to establish an evidence-informed physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of care. Laboratory experience comprises a large portion of this course, allowing for the optimal development of procedural knowledge. The basics of diagnostic imaging are also covered within this course and integrated into the clinical reasoning process.
This course explores the physiological and biophysical effects of biophysical agents as they relate to tissue healing, pain relief, and restoration of function. Emphasis is placed on clinical reasoning for the selection of the appropriate physical agent and intervention parameters based on current evidence and clinical case examples. The course provides comprehensive coverage of the biophysical agents used by physical therapists and includes intensive hands-on laboratory experience with modern equipment utilizing clinical models for development of skill in application of biophysical agents.
This course is designed to provide the student with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform competent orthopedic musculoskeletal examinations, evaluations, and interventions for the cervical spine, thoracic spine, rib cage, and temporomandibular joint. There is coherent integration of this course with PT 638, PT 639, PT 646 and PT 643. Emphasis is placed on the development of declarative knowledge and clinical reasoning skills to perform an orthopedic examination and synthesize data to establish an evidence-informed physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of care. Laboratory experience comprises a large portion of this course, allowing for the optimal development of procedural knowledge. The basics of diagnostic imaging are also covered within this course and integrated into the clinical reasoning process.
This course is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to evaluate movement and prescribe therapeutic exercise. The course is integrated with several other movement-based courses in the curriculum, building on foundational topics covered in the first year of the program. Content related to movement evaluation is highly integrated with the concurrent PT641 course. This course begins by defining the variables that inform selection of movement evaluation tools and therapeutic exercise interventions, to include physiological, biomechanical, environmental, and personal factors. Instruction emphasizes the need for prescribing therapeutic exercise with precision and consideration of each individual's unique medical and activity history. Exercise interventions for the spine and lower extremities are the regional foci. At these regions, students learn to apply techniques relevant to patient needs throughout the episode of care. Finally, the course challenges the students' clinical reasoning and use of evidence as they learn to apply and integrate content from this course with knowledge and skills gleaned from other courses.
This course is designed to build on understanding and competencies developed in PT 642. In addition to regional coverage of the upper spine and extremities, this course further refines the use of movement evaluation, to include screening examinations for application in a variety of injury prevention and performance settings. Other topics covered include: evaluation and treatment of running-related impairments, exercise management of pelvic impairments, exercise using aquatic environments, and movement-based therapies from other disciplines. Finally, students will work in small groups to plan and execute a community-based intervention designed to serve population health needs, with emphasis on either evaluation and treatment of movement quality, or promotion of physical activity.
This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the neurophysiologic mechanisms of medications as they apply to physical therapy practice. Particular attention will be addressed to medication interaction with physical therapy interventions including but not limited to exercise and joint mobilization or manipulation. Medication interactions with tissue healing and medication interaction with other medications or naturopathic remedies will also be studied. Typical medications for patient populations seen in each physical therapy practice setting will be addressed, as well as how medications may influence typical tests and measures. Physiologic and clinical presentation of medication effects in the development and implementation of appropriate physical therapy interventions are a cornerstone of the course.
In this course, students will explore current theories of motor development and relate them to physical therapy case studies. They will develop knowledge of normal motor development, theoretical models of motor control, development, and learning principles. This will provide the basis for the study of common pathologies encountered in clinical practice.
This course is designed to provide the student with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform competent orthopedic musculoskeletal examinations, evaluations, and interventions for the upper extremity. There is coherent integration of this course with PT 638, PT 639, PT 641 and PT 643. Emphasis is placed on the development of declarative knowledge and clinical reasoning skills to perform an orthopedic examination and synthesize data to establish an evidence-informed physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of care. Laboratory experience comprises a large portion of this course, allowing for the optimal development of procedural knowledge. The basics of diagnostic imaging are also covered within this course and integrated into the clinical reasoning process.
This course addresses the issues in pediatrics that are relevant to physical therapists. Emphasis is on movement of infants and children. The course also applies information on normal development to infants and children, particularly to cerebral palsy, meningomyelocele, pseudohypertrophic muscular dystrophy, and developmental delay. These four distinct diagnoses are used as models for the design of physical therapy programs for children with other pathologies. The assessment and treatment of premature infants is also addressed.
Systemic processes affect the entire person as an organism. This course is a deep dive into the emergent nature of systemic disease and the complex dynamical nature of human systems. Each topic is covered with a foundational discussion of the neurophysiology of the pathology, and the manner in which dysfunction within one human system can affect other systems. Medical management of each condition, including pharmacologic management, is addressed, along with the potential ramifications on PT intervention. Each condition, along with patient cases, is framed in the ICF model. Since systemic conditions can evolve over time, the unique role of the PT in acute, sub-acute and chronic phases is investigated.
This course is designed to prepare students to work with individuals late in the lifespan, particularly those age 65 and older. The content includes an overview of the physical, physiological, cognitive and emotional changes associated with aging as well as selected pathologies and challenges commonly encountered when working with older individuals. Students design and participate in health promotion for community-living older adults. Students are encouraged to integrate learning from other courses to select appropriate tests and measures and to identify and implement appropriate interventions for impairments and functional limitations commonly seen in the older adult population.
This course consists of integrated clinical experiences designed to provide students opportunities to apply pedagogical knowledge and skills to patients under mentorship and guidance of third year students, in the on-site clinic environment. Students observe, assist, and perform components of physical therapy evaluation, interventions, documentation, and exchange feedback in consultation with student mentors. The companion seminar introduces foundational elements of physical therapy documentation, standards of practice, adult learning, fundamentals of patient and caregiver education, professional behaviors, clinical teaching, and communication skills. Selection of full-time clinical internships is facilitated through exploration of factors influencing clinical education and strategies for progressive clinical and professional skills development.
This integrated clinical experience incorporates analysis and synthesis of physical therapy concepts, skills, and evidence-based practice via clinical experiences in an on-site clinical environment. Students work closely with clinical instructors to develop skills of examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis and intervention of individuals with impairments, functional limitations or changes in physical function resulting from neurological or musculoskeletal disorders. Students are responsible for documentation of all care delivered, simulated billing, communications to referring clinicians, and have opportunities to exchange feedback with clinical instructors.
Students work in small groups with participants from the community to design and modify customized exercise programs based on client presentation, goals and current evidence for best practice in exercise prescription. Students apply communication, learning and teaching skills, culminating in individualized home exercise programs for each client. End-of-semester presentations provide students opportunities to share participant progress, challenges and strategies for success.
This course provides an in-depth exploration of the assessment and intervention for adults with neurological conditions. The focus of this course is on common pathologies, assessment and movement analysis, and manifestations of neurological impairments. Evidence-based application of standardized outcome measures is also emphasized using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model.
This course provides an in-depth exploration of intervention theory, design, and techniques for adults with neurologic conditions. Students learn to apply the principles of neuroplasticity, motor control and motor learning in clinical reasoning in order to develop competence in functional movement training and intervention for adults with neurologic conditions.
This course teaches health promotion and prevention of secondary impairments in neurologic populations. Using SCI as a model patient for lifelong care, PT students are taught skills that span from acute care to aging with disability. Upper extremity preservation concepts are learned in conjunction with advanced transfer and wheelchair skills to maximize community participation potential. An overview of wheelchair seating and prescription for individuals with neurologic disability, as both health promotion and as intervention, completes the course.
This fourteen-week, full-time clinical experience occurs off-campus and is designed to provide students with an opportunity for guided and independent experiences in providing physical therapy services to the public.
The integrated clinical experience gives students an opportunity to further apply their knowledge and skills in a realistic clinical setting. Students work closely with clinical instructors to provide physical therapy services to individuals from the community with impairments, functional limitations or changes in physical function resulting from a variety of neurological or musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, students participate in health promotion and injury prevention programs, interdisciplinary collaboration, and begin to develop clinical teaching skills.
This course provides an introduction to salient psychological factors having direct bearing on effective physical therapy practice. Areas covered include psychological paradigms; utilizing collaborative psychological resources; classification and diagnostic criteria of psychopathologies commonly comorbid with patient conditions presented to the physical therapist; impact of locus of control on physical restoration, adherence, and functional independence; psychological reactions to disability; motivational principles and psychobehavioral predictive factors in exercise adherence; countertransference; psychological factors in chronic pain syndromes; psychosomatic theory; psychophysiology of the stress response; and application of therapeutic relaxation techniques.
This course covers the role of physical therapists in administrative settings and leadership roles. An overview of the costs of providing physical therapy, billing and coding, and payment systems is presented. Constraints and benefits of care delivery in various practice environments are discussed. Leadership is presented as a vital skill for all physical therapists, ranging from treating a patient on-on-one to roles managing staffs, departments, and serving the profession through positions in state and national professional associations. Students learn to lead from any level and understand the role physical therapy leaders have in healthcare.
These courses are designed to build from students' basic backgrounds in a specialized area of physical therapy practice to a level of expertise in comprehensive understanding, clinical reasoning, and application of clinical skills. Several topic areas are available each year. Course content includes clinical examination and intervention theory and practice, the opportunity to practice knowledge and skill in the treatment of actual patients, and synthesis of knowledge in a formal case report. Three topics are required.
This sixteen-week, full-time clinical experience occurs off-campus and is the culmination of the academic and clinical portions of the DPT curriculum. The experience is designed to provide students with an opportunity for guided and independent experience providing physical therapy services to the public.
Independent study is available to those students who wish to continue their learning in an area after completing the regularly offered courses in that area.
An independent study course designed to provide the student with an opportunity to engage in a collaborative project with faculty. The student, with faculty supervision, develops an individualized learning contract that involves critical inquiry, clinical research, and/or classroom teaching.