Physical Therapy

Physical therapists (PTs) are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limits their abilities to move and perform functional activities as well as they would like in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Graduates of the DPT program are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination, given by The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, and the Jurisprudence Exam, given by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.  A license to practice physical therapy in Texas is contingent on successful completion of these examinations. The DPT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE), 1111 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.

 

Physical Therapy Admission Requirements

TRANSITIONAL DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY

Applications for the Transitional DPT program are accepted between July 1 and November 1; applicants are advised to contact the Department of Physical Therapy for more information about admission to the program.

ENTRY-LEVEL DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY

Applications for the Fall (July) entry-level DPT program are accepted between August 15 and November 1.  The Texas Common Application is required for admission.  A completed application, the application fee, official transcripts from each college or university attended, test scores and other supporting documents must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by November 1. The completed ap­plication, official transcripts, and all supporting materials must be on file before the application can be processed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to verify that all documents have been received before the application deadline. 

A baccalaureate degree is not required for admission. Note that program prerequisites can be in progress at the time of application but must be completed by the end of the spring term prior to fall enrollment. Applicants without a baccalaureate degree must complete at least 90 semester credit hours of Core Curriculum, program prerequisites, and electives. At least 30 of these credit hours must be from a regionally accredited four-year university. In addition, students without a baccalaureate degree must have a minimum of 6 of these credit hours of junior or senior level courses in a subject area (e.g. biology, chemistry, history). Some courses that satisfy core curriculum requirements may also be used to satisfy program prerequisites.

DPT applicants without a bachelor’s degree must complete the Texas Core Curriculum (42 hours):

  • English Composition I & II, 6 hours
  • College Algebra, 3 hours
  • Biology I & II with labs, 8 hours
  • Anatomy & Physiology I with lab, 4 hours
  • Any philosophy, language, humanities, or English course, 3 hours
  • Any arts, drama, or music course, 3 hours
  • History 1301 & 1302, 6 hours
  • Government 2301 & 2302 or 2305 & 2306, 6 hours
  • Intro to Psychology, 3 hours

 All applicants must complete the program prerequisites (45 hours) and fulfill the requirements below:

  • Human Anatomy II with lab, 4 hours
  • Upper-level Biology with lab, 4 hours           
  • General Chemistry I & II with labs, 8 hours  
  • Physics I & II with labs, 8 hours
  • Developmental Psychology, 3 hours
  • Intro to Sociology, 3 hours
  • Speech, 3 hours
  • Medical Terminology, 1 hour
  • Statistics (math or psychology), 3.0 hours
  • Electives, 11 hours
  • Overall grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and Science/Math GPA of at least 3.0
  • Official transcripts from each college and university currently or previously attended.   Applicants who are enrolled in college courses at the time of application should submit an official transcript showing courses in progress.  An updated transcript must be submitted upon completion of the courses.  Note: Transfer credits indicated on another school’s transcript are not accepted in lieu of submitting the original institution record for that coursework. Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be submitted in the original language and must be accompanied by a NACES Member evaluation agency English translation.
  • Completion of the Texas Common Application
  • Payment of the non-refundable application fee
  • Submission of the Documentation of Experience form that demonstrates knowledge and understanding of physical therapy gained through a minimum of 50 hours observation, volunteering, or employment in a physical therapy setting
  • Two letters of reference (at least one letter from a licensed physical therapist using the Reference Form), available at the Web site above
  • Personal written statement addressing the applicant’s goal of becoming a physical therapist (one page typed, single space)
  • Personal résumé including previous work experience, honors and awards, extracurricular activities, and community service experience
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores must be submitted; used only for program development purposes, but not for making admissions decisions
  • International Applicants only: Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores; minimum scores 560 (paper) or 68 (Internet).

Physical Therapy Degree Requirements

ENTRY-LEVEL DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program (DPT) begins in the Fall (July) semester and consists of 100 semester credit hours of professional-level courses taken over 6 semesters (36 months). The program includes 30 weeks of full-time clinical affiliations and a 4-week specialty clinical internship.

TRANSITIONAL DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY

A Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (T-DPT) is also offered through the Department of Physical Therapy. The T-DPT program consists of 8 post-professional level courses taken over an 18 month period beginning in January.  This is a self-supported program offered to currently practicing physical therapists who graduated with a Baccalaureate or Master’s Degree as their entry level, professional degree. 

Physical Therapy Sample Plans of Study

Doctor of Physical Therapy Curriculum

First Year
FallCredit Hours
PHYT 7001Clinical Foundations 1 4
PHYT 7005Therapeutic Exercise Science 4
PHYT 7009Neuroscience 1 3
PHYT 7014Systematic Reasoning and Scientific Investigation 1 3
PHYT 7017Cells, Systems, and Disease 3
PHYT 8022Professional Issues and Clinical Decision-Making 1 2
Spring
CSBL 7014Anatomy 1 5
PHYT 7011Clinical Foundations 2 4
PHYT 7012Movement Science 1 4
PHYT 7019Neuroscience 2 3
PHYT 8122Professional Issues and Clinical Decision-Making 2 2
Second Year
Fall
PHYT 7018Pharmacological Principles in Physical Therapy 2
PHYT 8002Management of the Patient with Musculoskeletal Dysfunction 1 5
PHYT 8007Orthotics in Rehabilitation 1.5
PHYT 8011Electrophysical Agents in Rehabilitation 3
PHYT 8108Management of the Patient with Neuromuscular Dysfunction 2 5
PHYT 8130Movement Science 2 2
Spring
PHYT 8012Prosthetics in Rehabilitation 1.5
PHYT 8013Management of the Patient With Cardiopulmonary Dysfunction 3
PHYT 8114Management of the Patient with Musculoskeletal Dysfunction 2 5
PHYT 8116Management of the Patient with Neuromuscular Dysfuncation 2 5
PHYT 8222Professional Issues and Clinical Decision-Making 3 1
PHYT 7021Clinical Experience 1 5
Third Year
Fall
PHYT 8021Clinical Experience 2 5
PHYT 8121Clinical Experience 3 5
Spring
CSBL 8010Anatomy 2 2
PHYT 8075Human Development across the Lifespan 3
PHYT 8102Systematic Reasoning and Scientfic Investigation 2 2
PHYT 8106Principles of Administration in Physical Therapy 2
PHYT 8112Management of the Complex Patient 3
PHYT 8221Clinical Internship 2
 Total Credit Hours: 100.0

Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Curriculum

PHYT 7070Physical Therapy: A 21st Century Primary Doctoring Profession2
PHYT 7071Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Practice2
PHYT 7072Clinical Decision-Making across the Lifespan2
PHYT 7073Medical Screening in Physical Therapy2
PHYT 7074Pharmacology in Physical Therapy2
PHYT 7075Diagnostic Imaging for Physical Therapists2
PHYT 7076Professional Ethical Decision-Making and Clinical Risk Management2
PHYT 7077Business, Marketing, and Reimbursement Practice Issues2
PHYT TBD: Research in Physical Therapy 13
PHYT TBD: Current Issues in Muscoloskeletal, Neurologic, Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy and Orthotics and Prosthetics 13
Total Credit Hours22

 

1

The two courses are only required if a student does not possess a master's degree in physical therapy.  Students with a bachelor's degree in PT and significant post-graduate training can request a waiver of these two additional courses. The waiver request document can be found on our website.


Doctor of Physical Therapy Objectives/Program Outcomes

Students graduating from the Department of Physical Therapy must meet the essential function requirements of the academic program and profession. They will complete programs consisting of academic study and clinical laboratory experience. The student will possess the skills and attributes necessary to perform as a professional before graduation from the program. These skills and attributes are known as essential functions and include the following:

General Abilities

To provide quality health care, the student will possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, taste, and smell.  All data received by the senses must be integrated, analyzed and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner.  In addition, the student will possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, equilibrium, and movement. 

Observational Ability

The student will participate in and observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences including but not limited to physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in animals, microbiologic cultures and microscopic study of organisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states.  The student will observe the client accurately at a distance and close at hand to accurately assess health/illness alteration. The student will be able to obtain visual information from clients including but not limited to movement, posture, body mechanics, and gait patterns for the purpose of evaluation of movement dysfunction. Inherent in this observation process is the functional use of the senses and sufficient motor capability to carry out the necessary assessment activities.

Communication

The student will be able to effectively communicate verbally and non-verbally and to observe clients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity, and postures and to perceive non-verbal communications.  The student will effectively communicate to other students, faculty, clients, peers, staff, and families to ask questions, explain conditions, and procedures, teach home programs, and to maintain safety in a timely manner within any/all academic and clinical settings. The student will send and receive verbal communication in life threatening situations in a timely manner within acceptable norms of clinical settings.  This requires the ability to read, write, and effectively utilize the English language. The student will be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with clients.

Motor Ability

The student will be able to perform gross and fine motor movements required to provide physical therapy and operate equipment to deliver care safely, in a timely manner appropriate for the problems identified and consistent with the acceptable norms of all clinical settings.  Examples of movements the student will be able to perform include lifting, turning, transferring, transporting, and exercising the clients.  The student will have the psychomotor skills necessary to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication, managing of equipment, and emergency interventions.  The student will be able to maintain consciousness and equilibrium at all times, and has the physical strength and stamina to perform satisfactorily in all clinical settings.

The student will have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers.   The student will be able to do laboratory tests and work with scientific and other instruments and machinery utilized in the practice of physical therapy.  The student will have motor skills necessary to administer emergency treatment such as CPR using the guidelines issued by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.  Such actions require coordination of both fine and gross muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

Critical Thinking Ability

The student will have the ability to develop problem-solving skills.  This includes the ability to measure, calculate, analyze and synthesize objective as well as subjective data and make decisions that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation and clinical judgment.  In addition, the student will be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures.

Interpersonal Abilities

The student will have the emotional stability required to exercise sound judgment, complete assessment and intervention activities.  The student will be able to establish rapport and maintain sensitive, interpersonal relationships with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.  The student will have the flexibility to function effectively under stress.  Concern for others, integrity, accountability, interest and motivations are necessary personal qualities.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

The student will possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of clients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with clients.  Students will be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress.  Students will be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many clients.  Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that the student will possess.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Policies and Information

Advancement, Probation, and Dismissal

Continuation as a Physical Therapy student is dependent on maintenance of a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) while enrolled in the program. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be subject to academic probation. While on probation, a student must maintain a B average in those courses for which he or she is registered or be considered for dismissal.  A student who receives a grade of D or F in any semester may also be subject to dismissal.

The Department of Physical Therapy Student Progress Committee (SPC) may recommend dismissal, probation, repetition of the course when next offered, repetition of the year, or other actions as deemed appropriate.  The student who has been dismissed may be readmitted for further study by petition from the SPC.  The request will be approved or disapproved by the Dean. Under no circumstances will a student on probation be awarded a degree.

Attendance for Academic Courses

It is expected that students will attend all scheduled classes, laboratories, and clinical sessions. Excused absences may be granted in such cases as illness or personal emergency. With verification of an excused absence, required work that has been missed can be submitted.  It is the responsibility of the student to notify the department if any absence occurs and to arrange with the faculty to make up work that is missed.

Dropping Courses

It is mandatory that the students adhere to the sequence of courses in the curriculum.  Each course in the curriculum is built upon and is dependent upon a foundation established in a prior course. To drop a course, a student must seek permission from the course instructor and the Department Chair.

Grades in Clinical Courses

All clinical courses (i.e.: Clinical I, Clinical II, Clinical III, and Clinical Internship I) are graded S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory). Clinical grades are not used in calculating the grade point average.

A grade of S is assigned if the student successfully satisfies the criteria for clinical courses.  Failure to successfully satisfy the course criteria may result in one of the following grades:

  • I (Incomplete) – Student performance is satisfactory on completed skills but below the minimum number required due to exceptional circumstances beyond student and/or clinic control.
  • U (Unsatisfactory) – Student performance is below minimum requirement due to skill deficiency not related to exceptional circumstances or if the clinical is discontinued. A grade of U may also be assigned if the student demonstrates inappropriate behavior in the areas of professionalism or interpersonal skills. A grade of U may result in dismissal from the program.

Criteria and time frame for removal of I or U grades in clinical courses are determined based on clinical documentation and consultation with the clinical supervisor/clinical instructor.  An I or U grade may require that the student complete an additional clinical affiliation or other remediation that could extend the professional curriculum beyond the expected graduation date. More than one U grade is not allowed within the total clinical course sequence. 

Program Costs

In addition to required tuition and fees, there are costs for textbooks, scrubs, and equipment. The full-time clinical fieldwork experiences included in the curriculum may require that students locate outside of San Antonio for the duration of the rotations. Fieldwork expenses will vary according to individual arrangements depending on the cost of travel, temporary housing, maintenance of local accommodations, etc.   Students are encouraged to budget for major expenditures that could be associated with these assignments.  Detailed information about program costs can be found on the Department of Physical Therapy website.

Courses

PHYT 5009. Neuroscience 1. 3 Credit Hours.

This course in neuroscience provides the foundation to understand the structure and functions of the developing, mature, and aging nervous system. It covers basic neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropharmacology. It also applies neuroscience to clinical applications regarding pathology and patient care. Since cultural organization is central to most functional concepts, neuroanatomy is emphasized to facilitate an overall understanding of the nervous system. Morphology is covered first at the cellular level, then regionally. Neurophysiology of cellular processes of nerve cell transmission as well as regional connectivity of pathways devoted to specific neural modalities is covered. Neuropharmacology encompasses the chemical aspects of synaptic transmission at the cellular level, and the regional differences of transmitter pharmacology. Neuropathology is introduced when appropriate to the systems being discussed.

PHYT 5091. Special Topics. 0.5-4 Credit Hours.

This course will be arranged through Department faculty. The course topics vary according to student interest. Semester hours are variable and credit hours will be assessed per topic. The course could be offered any time during the third year (MPT-III), fall or spring.

PHYT 7001. Clinical Foundations 1. 4 Credit Hours.

This course addresses the fundamental concepts of physical therapy practice including basic clinical screening for disease to include systems review, diagnostic procedures, and introductory physical therapy skills. Students are exposed to the components of documentation, basic examination, therapist-to-patient interaction, the disablement process, interdisciplinary management of the patient, and the use of the Guide to Physical Therapy as a management tool. Students also study functional screening techniques, body mechanics, surface anatomy, postural assessment, patient positioning and transfers, locomotion, and the use of assistive devices. The course adds to the foundation for clinical reasoning and clinical decision making. Students have the opportunity to practice fundamental skills involved in patient management.

PHYT 7005. Therapeutic Exercise Science. 4 Credit Hours.

The goal of this course is to introduce the student to the basic principles of therapeutic exercise to different populations. This will be achieved by examining the physiology of exercise and applying the principles of therapeutic exercise to different populations. Emphasis is on the role of exercise to improve function, prevent dysfunction, and promote wellness. The role of complementary medicine and integration of interdisciplinary professionals in the presentation of content is intended to enhance understanding of holistic care for active populations. The effects of exercise on energy metabolism, nutrition, cardiopulmonary function, and the musculoskeletal systems are also emphasized in this course. At the end of this course, students will have had the opportunity to learn to be able to apply training principles to develop an appropriate exercise program.

PHYT 7009. Neuroscience 1. 3 Credit Hours.

This course in neuroscience provides the foundation to understand the structure and functions of the developing, mature, and aging nervous system. It covers basic neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropharmacology. It also applies neuroscience to clinical applications regarding pathology and patient care. Since cultural organization is central to most functional concepts, neuroanatomy is emphasized to facilitate an overall understanding of the nervous system. Morphology is covered first at the cellular level, then regionally. Neurophysiology of cellular processes of nerve cell transmission as well as regional connectivity of pathways devoted to specific neural modalities is covered. Neuropharmacology encompasses the chemical aspects of synaptic transmission at the cellular level, and the regional differences of transmitter pharmacology. Neuropathology is introduced when appropriate to the systems being discussed.

PHYT 7011. Clinical Foundations 2. 4 Credit Hours.

This course continues to introduce the fundamental concepts of physical therapy practice including basic clinical screening, systems review, and introductory physical therapy skills. The course takes a regional approach to surface anatomy and its radiologic correlates, detailed muscle function with specific muscle testing. Functional outcome measures, palpation, and principles of selected interventions to include soft tissue mas-sage and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). The course will continue to lay the foundation for clinical reasoning and clinical decision making. The student will be given the opportunity to practice fundamental skills involved in patient management.

PHYT 7012. Movement Science 1. 4 Credit Hours.

This course is a study of joint structure and function, and the mechanical principles underlying the kinematics and kinetics of human motion. Emphasis is placed on the interaction between biomechanical and physiological factors in musculoskeletal function and the implications of kinesiology principles in physical therapy practice.

PHYT 7014. Systematic Reasoning and Scientific Investigation 1. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is designed to develop critical thinking regarding interpretation of research literature. It provides a general introduction to research design, statistical reasoning, and interpretations of the literature. Topics include scientific method, research design, statistical reasoning, development of research questions, issues of measurement, and an overview of parametric and non-parametric statistical techniques. All topics are presented to facilitate understanding of research literature and utilizing evidence for clinical decision-making. The learner will have the opportunity to be able to critically analyze rehabilitation research and begin the process of formulating a critically relevant research question.

PHYT 7017. Cells, Systems, and Disease. 3 Credit Hours.

This course characterizes what happens to the human body during different disease processes. It begins at the cellular and tissue levels and advances to a progressive study of diseases and disorders within different organ systems. It examines the pathological changes of both histological and gross anatomical specimens, as well as the biochemical and physiological changes that occur during different diseases and disorders. It also discusses some aspects of diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. There is an extensive medical vocabulary associated with this course.

PHYT 7018. Pharmacological Principles in Physical Therapy. 2 Credit Hours.

This course provides the foundation for understanding the impact of drugs on patients with conditions encountered in the practice of physical therapy. Basic pharmacological principles are addressed, as well as important precautions and contraindications for physical therapy treatments.

PHYT 7019. Neuroscience 2. 3 Credit Hours.

This course in neuroscience provides further foundation to understand the structures and functions of the developing, mature, and aging nervous system. It covers basic neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropharmacology. It also applies neuroscience to clinical applications regarding pathology and patient care. Since structural organization is central to most functional concepts, neuroanatomy is emphasized to facilitate an overall understanding of the nervous system. Special emphasis is given to the structures involved in motor control, their functions, and pathologies.

PHYT 7021. Clinical Experience 1. 5 Credit Hours.

Clinical Experiences 1, 2, and 3 are designed for the student to apply knowledge gained in the basic and clinical sciences courses completed in the first 2 years to clinical practice. The student will become proficient in examination, evaluation, and intervention of patients in a variety of physical therapy settings. Students will complete 10 week rotations in each of 3 settings: acute, inpatient neurological, and outpatient orthopedic. However, they may complete these in any order depending on availability of clinical sites.

PHYT 7070. Physical Therapy: A 21st Century Primary Doctoring Profession. 2 Credit Hours.

This course surveys the 21st century health care delivery milieu, and physical therapists' vital, multifaceted professional roles therein. Students access the ATPA's official website, and analyze and evaluate ATPA core documents, including the Code of Ethics, Core Values, and Vision 2020, which characterizes physical therapy as a co-equal doctoring discipline within the medical care model, and physical therapists as practitioners of choice for patients with movement dysfunction. Students explore interpersonal communication, patient care documentation, professional comportment and demeanor, differences between novice and expert clinicians, multiculturalism, and the collaborative nature of twenty-first century health care practice, among other introductory topics in health professional education. As part of the course, students also lead discussion of selected articles related to professionalism in PT and take a summative assessment.

PHYT 7071. Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Practice. 2 Credit Hours.

This course will prepare graduate physical therapists to make independent judgments about the validity of clinical research and implement evidence-based practice with emphasis on forming answerable clinical questions, effective literature search strategies, and structured evaluation of the strength and relevance of clinical evidence.

PHYT 7072. Clinical Decision-Making across the Lifespan. 2 Credit Hours.

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an opportunity to learn about typical human lifespan development with an emphasis on health and wellness with application to the practice of PT. The course focuses on the embryonic development, early infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, older adults, and the oldest old. Opportunities for didactic, clinical and community experiences are integrated into the course to facilitate active learning. Topics include, among others, patient interdisciplinary management, cultural sensitivity, psychological and socioeconomic concerns, community-based resources, and patient/family education regarding health, wellness and fitness.

PHYT 7073. Medical Screening in Physical Therapy. 2 Credit Hours.

This course addresses concepts in probability-based differential diagnosis. It presents the evidence for diagnosis using properties of diagnostic tests such as sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios and predictive values. Participants will learn to review the diagnostic literature against evidence-based practice criteria for validity to facilitate appropriate selection of clinical diagnostic tests. The course provides an efficient model to combine the hypothetico-deductive reasoning process with the patient/client interview, examination, prognosis, and intervention to facilitate diagnosis and medical screening. Pathology of the major body systems and regions will be covered with the current evidence-based practice diagnostic standards as they are available in the professional literature. Competencies gained through the course are intended to help prepare the doctoral-level physical therapist to function as a direct access provider capable of making accurate diagnostic and screening decisions according to the best available evidence.

PHYT 7074. Pharmacology in Physical Therapy. 2 Credit Hours.

This course overviews the impact of drugs on patients with conditions encountered in the practice of clinical physical therapy. Basic pharmacological principles are addressed, as well as important precautions and contraindications for physical therapy treatments.

PHYT 7075. Diagnostic Imaging for Physical Therapists. 2 Credit Hours.

This course is designed to advance the knowledge of physical therapy students regarding the diagnostic indications for musculoskeletal imaging including evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, the diagnostic utility of musculoskeletal imaging procedures for select pathology, and the risks, benefits and associated health care costs of imaging procedures. The history and current evidence for the use of musculoskeletal imaging procedures by physical therapists will be presented. The basic physics of image acquisition and fundamental concepts of image interpretation for a variety of common imaging procedures are taught with clinically relevant cases examples. Emphasis is placed on how to successfully integrate musculoskeletal imaging procedures into physical therapist patient /client management.

PHYT 7076. Professional Ethical Decision-Making and Clinical Risk Management. 2 Credit Hours.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of physical therapy ethics and clinical liability risk management. Students define and distinguish moral, ethical and legal duties in practice; analyze the APTA's core values, Code of Ethics and Guide for Professional Conduct; and compare and contrast professional association and state licensing board ethical standards. Students evaluate the similarities and differences among business organizational and professional ethics in diverse practice settings. Classical ethical theories are explored and applied to physical therapy practice. The four foundational biomedical ethical principles of beneficence, maleficence, autonomy and justice are examined and applied to practice. Systematic approaches to resolving ethical problems, issues and dilemmas are developed and synthesized into everyday decision-making processes. Case analysis is applied to salient practice issues, including: delegation and supervision, intra and interdisciplinary relations, managed care, reimbursement, and research integrity, among many other disparate areas of physical therapy practice. Situational ethics exemplars are explored, as well as the modern blending of law and health professional ethics. Opportunities for active involvement in ethical decisions making in practice are examined, including membership on institutional ethics committees and review boards, state licensing boards, APTA's Ethics and Judicial Committee, state and district ethics committees, and university hearing and resolution boards. Disciplinary processes for violations of ethical standards are examined. Each student will reflect on, develop and submit a 2-3 page write-up of a practice-related ethical problem, issue or dilemma. Each will also reflect on his or her ethical decision making style, and submit a pictorial diagram and 1-3 page write up about their personal systematic approach to professional ethical problem-solving. Students also analyze the CNA2006 PT Malpractice Claims Study and evaluate select PT clinical malpractice case exemplars.

PHYT 7077. Business, Marketing, and Reimbursement Practice Issues. 2 Credit Hours.

This course examines current issues and trends in the practical aspects of physical therapy clinical management. Specific topics include: (1) organizational theory, behavior, and culture; (2) leadership and management principles; (3) human resource management issues, including: recruitment, selection, and retention of staff and managerial human resources; leadership; supervision and delegation of PTAs, aides, and other extenders; performance appraisal; training and development activities; compensation issues; management-labor relations; grievance and discipline; work place safety; and employment regulations; (4) health care finance, including clinical budgeting, billing and reimbursement issues; (5) starting and marketing a PT business; and (6) quality and information management.

PHYT 8002. Management of the Patient with Musculoskeletal Dysfunction 1. 5 Credit Hours.

Students in this course integrate previously learned skills and knowledge and apply new skills in the examination, evaluation, and intervention of patients across the lifespan with musculoskeletal conditions of the upper quarter, which will include the cervical and thoracic spine and the upper extremity. The course reviews musculoskeletal tissues, the effects of systematic disease on musculoskeletal tissues, the physical therapy exam, and the principles of evidence-based practice. The course then follows a regional approach with attention to the examination and intervention of the cervical/thoracic spine and each joint area in the upper extremity. Students are expected to be knowledgeable and proficient in material from the first-year courses in the areas of patient care skills, anatomy, kinesiology, and therapeutic exercise. The course emphasizes 1) using the best available evidence to examine and treat patients with musculoskeletal complaints in the extremities, 2) critically analyzing the patient's history and tests and measures to formulate a physical therapy diagnosis and determine the need for further referral, 3) recognizing non-musculoskeletal causes of extremity pain and identifying patients needing further diagnostic studies and referral to a specialty physician, and 4) the interdisciplinary approach to patient management through guest speakers from different medical specialties.

PHYT 8007. Orthotics in Rehabilitation. 1.5 Credit Hour.

The goal of this course is for the student to become proficient in the basic principles and clinical application of orthotic interventions used in the interdisciplinary management of the patient with extremity or spinal disorders across the lifespan. The course addresses the examination of the patient in need of an orthotic device, analyzing the results of the exam, and use of the best available evidence to identify the most efficacious orthotic device to manage or prevent impairment, functional limitation, or disability. Students will have the opportunity to use their critical thinking skills to problem solve case situations and prescribe or fabricate an orthosis most efficacious according to the best available evidence and with consultation from other disciplines.

PHYT 8010. Research In Physical Therapy. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is interactive web-supported learning experience that will provide the graduate physical therapist the opportunity to apply basic principles of research. Students will critique the current literature related to physical therapy practice and provide recommendations to improve the validity and reliability of various experiments presented. The student will be able to apply findings to clinical practice taking into account statistical principles learned. The student will also effectively summarize findings with written critiques.

PHYT 8011. Electrophysical Agents in Rehabilitation. 3 Credit Hours.

This course examines soft tissue massage/mobilization (STM); tissue integrity; inflammation and repair; and principles and application of electrophysical agents in clinical PT, including cryotherapy, heat, interferential, microcurrent, NMES, phonophoresis, Russian and TENS. The course consists of lectures, labs, "passport" self-selected site visits to experience clinical application of STM and EPAs, a midterm written exam, and comprehensive final written and lab exams.

PHYT 8012. Prosthetics in Rehabilitation. 1.5 Credit Hour.

This course is designed to enable the student to become proficient in the principles of examination and intervention for the patient who experiences limb amputation or has congenital limb absence. The course includes the management of wounds and co-morbidities that put one at risk for limb amputation and strategies to identify these patients and prevent limb loss. The student learns the care and prosthetic management of patients in the pre and post-operative stages with limb amputation at different levels. Instructors present strategies to problem solve when presented with patients with other conditions or factors that complicate the patient's course of rehabilitation. The interdisciplinary management of patients with limb amputation is emphasized through clinical experience with a prosthetist.

PHYT 8013. Management of the Patient With Cardiopulmonary Dysfunction. 3 Credit Hours.

This course provides instruction in the basic science and clinical foundation required for the examination and treatment of disorders of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. Emphasis is on interpretation of evaluative results involving cardiovascular and pulmonary pathology and application of specific treatment interventions in developing comprehensive PT management of these classes of pathology. This course includes interdisciplinary presentations and opportunities relevant to evidence-based wellness and fitness programs for the physical therapist functioning as part of the cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation team.

PHYT 8021. Clinical Experience 2. 5 Credit Hours.

Clinical Experiences 1, 2, and 3 are designed for the student to apply knowledge gained in the basic and clinical sciences courses completed in the first two years to clinical practice. The student will become proficient in examination, evaluation, and intervention of patients in a variety of physical therapy settings. Students will complete 10 week rotations in each of 3 settings: acute, inpatient neurological, and outpatient orthopedic. However, they may complete these in any order depending on availability of clinical sites.

PHYT 8022. Professional Issues and Clinical Decision-Making 1. 2 Credit Hours.

This course is designed for the student to assimilate major theories about learning across the lifespan, learning style, teaching techniques, communication in the clinical setting, and communication as a means to develop cultural competence. Emphasis will be on instruction related to clinical practice and critical thinking as well as application to motor learning. A major theme of this course is the development of communication skills to enhance therapist-patient interactions, promote an understanding of learning across the lifespan, and develop cultural competence.

PHYT 8023. Current Issues In Musculoskeletal, Neuro, Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy & Orthotics & Prosthetics. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is an interactive web-supported learning experience designed for the graduate physical therapist to develop skills necessary to integrate information at the DPT level. This course is divided into content units that reflect the expanded content within the DPT program. The units are portioned based on issues current to physical therapy practice in the content areas of 1) care of the patient with musculoskeletal dysfunction, 2) care of the patient with neurological dysfunction, 3) care of the patient with cardiopulmonary dysfunction and 4) care of the patient with an orthotic or prosthetic device.

PHYT 8075. Human Development across the Lifespan. 3 Credit Hours.

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with the opportunity to learn about typical human lifespan development with the emphasis on health and wellness with application to the practice of PT. The course focuses on the embryonic development, early infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, older adults, and the oldest old. Opportunities for didactic, clinical, and community are integrated into the course to facilitate active learning opportunities. Topics may include interdisciplinary management, cultural sensitivity, psychological factors, socioeconomic concerns, community-based resources, and patient/family education regarding health and wellness/fitness.

PHYT 8091. Current Topics in Physical Therapy. 1-9 Credit Hours.

The course is an interactive Web-supported learning experience designed for students to develop skills necessary to integrate information at the DPT level. This course is divided into content units that reflect the expanded content within the DPT program. The units are portioned based on a direct comparison of the existing MPT and the DPT that will be implemented in the fall 2008. The units include 1) radiology; 2) professional issues and clinical application; cultural competence and ethics; 3) patient care: systems review, and 4) pharmacology and pathophysiology.

PHYT 8102. Systematic Reasoning and Scientfic Investigation 2. 2 Credit Hours.

The emphasis of this course is continued development of critical thinking skills to promote evidence-based practice in the clinical setting. This course is a continuation of Systematic Reasoning and Scientific Investigation 1, and gives the student the support to experience and complete an extensive Critically Appraised Topic or a written research investigation. The student will also practice in small group format the skill of research articles analysis and presentation for public health and education. Students will either submit one article to the APTA Hooked on Evidence website or practice applying for a speaking position for a TPTA conference. The student will also produce either a written research investigation relevant to the practice of PT or a written Critically Appraised Topic with an extensive review of literature. Students also generate an oral presentation of their project to complete the requirements for this course.

PHYT 8106. Principles of Administration in Physical Therapy. 2 Credit Hours.

This course examines current issues and trends in law, ethics and practical aspects of physical therapy clinical management. Specific topics include: (1) health care malpractice and business, contract, criminal, education, and workers' compensation legal concepts and cases; (2) informed consent; (3) organizational theory, behavior, and culture; (4) leadership and management principles; (5) human resource management issues, including recruitment, selection, and retention of staff and managerial human resources; leadership; supervision, and delegation of PTAs, aides, and other extenders; performance appraisal; training and development activities; compensation issues; management labor relations; grievance and discipline; work place safety; and employment law and regulations; (6) health care finance, including clinical budgeting, billing, and reimbursement issues; (7) starting and marketing a PT business; (8) quality, risk, and information management; and (9) comparing and contrasting business, organizational, and professional (ATPA) ethics.

PHYT 8108. Management of the Patient with Neuromuscular Dysfunction 2. 5 Credit Hours.

This course is designed to allow the student to develop the skills necessary to perform examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and the development of comprehensive treatment plan of care for patients with neuromuscular dysfunction. Emphasis will be on differential diagnosis, screening, examination, and evaluation of function, and on development of intervention programs that lead to improvement in function. Movement dysfunction will be covered across the lifespan for acute and chronic conditions. The topics will be presented from a problem-solving approach that integrates case studies. Current evidence-based research related to the management of the patient with neuromuscular dysfunction will be critically assessed.

PHYT 8112. Management of the Complex Patient. 3 Credit Hours.

This course gives the student the opportunity to practice examination techniques with a systems approach. Screening for conditions requiring referral will be practiced with continued diagnosis, prognosis to include plan of care using the PT Guide to Physical Therapy Practice.. The student will generate a case study to be presented to the class.

PHYT 8114. Management of the Patient with Musculoskeletal Dysfunction 2. 5 Credit Hours.

Students in this course integrate previously learned skills and knowledge and apply new skills in the examination, evaluation, and intervention of patients across the lifespan with musculoskeletal conditions of the lumbosacral spine and the lower quarter. The course follows a regional approach with attention to the examination and intervention of the lumbosacral spine, the sacroiliac joint, and each joint of the lower extremity. Students are expected to be knowledgeable and proficient in material from the first-year courses of patient-care skills, kinesiology, and therapeutic exercise. This course emphasizes 1) using the best available evidence to examine and treat patients with spine complaints, and 2) recognizing non-musculoskeletal causes of spinal pain and identifying patients needing further diagnostic studies and referral to a specialty physician.

PHYT 8116. Management of the Patient with Neuromuscular Dysfuncation 2. 5 Credit Hours.

This course is a continuation of Management of the Patient with Neuromuscular Dysfunction 1, and is designed to allow the student to continue to develop the skills necessary to perform examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and the development of comprehensive intervention plans of care for patients with neuromuscular dysfunction. Emphasis is on differential diagnosis, screening, examination, and evaluation of function, and on development of intervention programs that lead to improvement in function. Movement dysfunction is covered across the lifespan for acute and chronic conditions. Current evidence-based research related to the management of the patient with neuromuscular dysfunction is critically assessed. Management strategies and skills are reinforced by encouraging the students to participate in hands-on pre-clinical experiences, work with area clinicians related to specific diagnoses, and design treatment plans based on case studies with a focus on interdisciplinary practice.

PHYT 8121. Clinical Experience 3. 5 Credit Hours.

Clincal Experiences 1, 2, and 3 are designed for the student to apply knowledge gained in the basic and clinical sciences courses completed in the first 2 years to clinical practice. The student is required to become proficient in examination, evaluation, and intervention of patients in a variety of physical therapy settings. Students are requried to complete 10 week rotations in each of 3 settings: acute, inpatient neurological, and outpatient orthopedic. However, they may complete these in any order depending on availability of clinical sites.

PHYT 8122. Professional Issues and Clinical Decision-Making 2. 2 Credit Hours.

This course explores professional issues in physical therapy practice. Topics of emphasis include Vision 2020, professional behaviors, APTA Code of Ethics and Guide to Professional Conduct, and legal standards of behavior for physical therapists. Particular emphasis will be placed on communication and conflict resolution, personality and cultural diversity, stress management, and entry-level physical therapy skill performance. There will also be an interdisciplinary component to the course that will provide students with an overview of ethical issues facing allied health professionals. Topics to be discussed include responsibilities of the health care professional, life and death decisions, patient confidentiality, substance abuse, whistle-blowing, and informed consent. Ethics in research and other critical issues related to health care problems also will be addressed. Collaborative activities and simulated cases will be used to enhance discussion among students.

PHYT 8130. Movement Science 2. 2 Credit Hours.

The course will examine how humans learn and acquire skills, as well as the mechanisms that are used to control skillful movement utilizing integration of concepts from neuroscience and kinesiology. Content will include critical discussion of the various schools of thought on how movement is controlled and learned. Students will have the opportunity to apply the concepts of motor control and motor learning for patients with movement dysfunction. Emphasis will be placed on movement control and motor learning in normal and special populations.

PHYT 8221. Clinical Internship. 2 Credit Hours.

This course is a four-week clinical internship that allows the student to choose an area of interest and refine their physical therapy examination, evaluation, and intervention skills in that setting. Students may choose to gain more experience in one of the three required clinical areas (acute, inpatient neurological, outpatient orthopedic) or pursue a specialty area of interest.

PHYT 8222. Professional Issues and Clinical Decision-Making 3. 1 Credit Hour.

This course gives students the opportunity to prepare for their clinical experiences. Students are required to complete all required certifications and learn to use the clinical evaluation tool (PT MACS). Particular emphasis will be placed on satisfactory passing criteria for skills outlined in the PT MACS, and expected entry-level physical therapy skill performance.