Course Descriptions

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Curriculum Plan

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This course introduces the student to current federal, state and local regulations regarding physical therapy practice. It also introduces the student to the history of the physical therapy profession and the role it has in health care including topics such as professional behavior, learning methods, ethical practice, professional writing and documentation, medical terminology, and functions of an autonomous practitioner. Emphasis is placed on developing effective attitudinal, interpersonal and communication skills within the health care system. Through class lectures and small group discussions students also explore his/her own moral values, teaching, and learning styles. Course also includes faculty directed application of skills and service to the community. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This course introduces the student to basic skills necessary for the practice of physical therapy to include taking a history, documentation, body mechanics, goniometry, vital signs, assistive equipment, patient movement and transfers, positioning, patient safety. Additional information includes the effects of inactivity, infection control, total joint arthroplasty and wound care. Principles from the Guide to Physical Therapy Practice are incorporated into the skills. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This course covers current theories in normal and abnormal motor development and motor control as it relates to the neuromuscular system. Topics include plasticity, skeletal muscle fatigue, neural mechanisms of muscle strengthening, spinal circuitry, reflexes, spasticity, rigidity, and balance and posture. Changes in motor development and motor control as aging occurs will also be discussed. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This is the first of a two-term intensive course in gross human anatomy. This course includes advanced study of gross human anatomy utilizing cadaver dissection and includes lecture and laboratory sessions. Emphasis is placed on the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems. Utilization of additional methodologies such as radiographic, computerized tomographic, and magnetic resonance imaging is also included. Emphasis is also placed on head and neck, upper extremity, thorax and abdominal wall including bones, joints, nerves, and connective tissue. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This is the second of a two-term intensive course in gross human anatomy. This course includes advanced study of gross human anatomy utilizing cadaver dissection and includes lecture and laboratory sessions. Emphasis is placed on the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems. Utilization of additional methodologies such as radiographic, computerized tomographic, and magnetic resonance imaging is also included. Emphasis is also placed on spine, pelvis, hip, knee, ankle, and foot, including bones, joints, nerves, and connective tissue. Prerequisite: Successful completion of PDPT 510
This is the first of a two-term course in clinical biomechanics. This course investigates normal and pathological movement based on an understanding of muscle and joint mechanics as well as muscle testing and function. It is also designed to examine basic evaluation and clinical physical therapy skills such as range of motion, manual muscle testing, goniometry, stretching, and palpation. This course also includes medical and surgical management of orthopedic conditions. Kinesiology is studied from a clinical and functional approach and emphasis is placed on the head and neck, upper extremity, thorax and abdominal wall. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This is the second of a two-term course in clinical biomechanics. This course investigates normal and pathological movement based on an understanding of muscle and joint mechanics as well as muscle testing and function. It is also designed to examine basic evaluation and clinical physical therapy skills such as range of motion, stretching, goniometry, manual muscle testing, and palpation. This course also includes medical and surgical management of orthopedic conditions. Kinesiology is studied from a clinical and functional approach and emphasis is placed on the spine, pelvis, hip, knee, ankle, and foot. Additional content such as gait analysis, posture assessment, and scoliosis will also be covered. Prerequisite: Successful completion of PDPT 520
This course includes lecture, small group discussions and simulated patient-client clinical examination. Emphasis is placed on clinical cases and clinical problems using student-centered, problem-based learning format including evidence-based practice objectives. This course introduces the student to evidence-based practice and the process of critical inquiry. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This course introduces the student to the fundamentals and essential concepts of neuromuscular function and includes an in-depth study of the anatomical and physiological study of the nervous system. Emphasis is placed on neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurodevelopment. This course includes topics such as the peripheral and central nervous systems, and the auditory, visual, and vestibular systems and emphasizes disorders commonly found in physical therapy practice. Both acute and chronic pain mechanisms will also be discussed. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the physiology of pain and inflammation and how it relates to the selection and use of physical agents, mechanical modalities and electrotherapeutic modalities. Students will learn safety and evidence based reasoning for the selection and implementation of modalities. Lectures, small group discussion and hands on lab sessions will include thermal agents, cryotherapy, hydrotherapy, soft tissue mobilization, traction, compression, electrotherapeutic modalities and ultrasound. Students will be introduced to electromyography, nerve conduction, and fire-wire EMG. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This course is intended to provide basic patient care and clinical skills such as assistive devices and gait, bed mobility, draping, positioning, transfer training, dynamic stretching, strengthening, and principles of therapeutic exercise progression. Emphasis is placed on patient safety and handling, proper and safe body mechanics, patient communication and documentation for the therapist. This course also introduces the student to patient assessment and treatment through small group interaction, clinically-based studies and case study presentations. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This course is a continuation of PDPT 550 and emphasizes the principles of therapeutic exercise progression from the pediatric patient to the geriatric patient while utilizing exercise for injury prevention and reducing functional impairments. Current concepts in fitness evaluation and health education will be discussed. This course also introduces the student to the concepts of wellness and nutrition including education and prevention programs for individuals, groups, and communities. Prerequisite: Successful completion of PDPT 550
This course is intended to provide students with fundamental knowledge of statistical design with emphasis on statistical methodology specific to the biological sciences. Introduction to evidence-based practice that includes question formation and analysis as it relates to current literature and physical therapy practice will also be discussed. The course will also include a review of current statistical models and provide a critical review of published literature with the students beginning to developing their individual or group professional research project. The student will also develop competence in understanding and applying the principles of research into clinical practice. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This course is a study of human physiology starts at the cellular level of function and progresses to looking at the interrelationships between organ systems. Areas stressed are the autonomic nervous, cardiovascular, renal, hematologic, immune, integumentary, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and skeletal systems. In addition the physiologic effects of pregnancy as well as organ histology are covered. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This course covers pathophysiology starting with the molecular and cellular processes that result in structural and functional pathophysiologic changes. Topics covered include cell and tissue injury, healing and repair, inflammation, infection, and cancer. Diseases of the endocrine metabolic, gastrointestinal, renal, musculoskeletal, genital, cardio-pulmonary, hematologic, nervous systems over the life-span are covered. Disease definition, incidence, etiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations and treatment approaches are discussed. Embryology is reviewed and congenital conditions covered. Prerequisite: Admission to the program or authorized by program director
This course is a 4 week full time clinical experience. Students will be under direct supervision of a clinical instructor at an assigned outpatient physical therapy clinic, rehabilitation clinic, or acute care facility. Clinical sites vary in their location and it is the student’s responsibility for travel and living expenses if they occur. Prerequisite: Successful completion of didactic courses in year 1
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This course covers normal human physiology of body systems and students receive instruction and practice skills associated with conditions related to the cardiopulmonary system. Special emphasis is placed on the body systems most directly affected by the practice of physical therapy. This course also applies the basic concepts and techniques in the management of patients with acute and chronic cardiac and pulmonary disorders. The student gains experience in the interpretation of EKG, heart and lung sounds, and hematological and serum chemistry analysis. Students will demonstrate proper techniques in laboratory sessions. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 1 or authorized by program director
This course covers the general principles of pharmacology. This includes pharmacokinetics, how drugs are administered, absorbed, metabolized and excreted by the body, and pharmacodynamics, how the drugs have their effects on cells. For each organ system the pharmacologic treatment of disease processes will be explored, looking at the mechanism of action, indications, adverse effects, and drug interactions of the major drugs commonly used. Impact of different agents on exercise is considered. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 1 or authorized by program director
This course covers physical therapy examination and intervention for the medical surgical and integumentary systems. Also included are the concepts of the inflammatory process, types and classification of wounds and wound care, patient education and prevention will also be addressed. Medical and surgical interventions of burns, surgical incisions and wounds, as well as other integumentary procedures such as debridement and non-surgical protocols will be discussed. In addition, physical therapy evaluation and treatment procedures for the management of selected systems such as genitourinary, renal, immune, gastrointestinal, and endocrine will also be covered. Client care problems are emphasized with a problem-solving/case-study format. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 1 or authorized by program director
Concepts of nutrition, health, and wellness are addressed. Topics include diabetes, heart disease, obesity, with emphasis on prevention and wellness. Clinical nutrition as it relates to post-surgical conditions, chronic illness and disease will also be discussed. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 1 or authorized by program director
This course is designed to provide an intense study of geriatric physical therapy and related issues. Specific emphasis is given to the normal development process of again, preventative care and management of pathological aging. Additionally, this course includes a holistic approach to the geriatric patient as an active participant in their health care. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 1 or authorized by program director
This didactic and laboratory-based course requires students to apply principles of motor control and neuroscience to the clinical care of adults with neurologic health conditions resulting from acquired disorders of the central nervous system. Using current evidence, students will engage in a systematic clinical decision-making approach to the physical therapy examination, movement system diagnosis/ prognosis, and management of these individuals. This approach will guide students to integrate their knowledge of a patient’s neurologic health condition with data derived from the patient’s medical history, relevant standardized tests and measures, and functional task analyses, enabling them to develop and evaluate causal hypotheses and generate goals addressing body structure/ function impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Design, progression, and outcomes assessment of the physical therapy plan of care will be considered, guided by current concepts of neuroplasticity and neurotherapeutics. A holistic, interdisciplinary team approach to neurorehabilitation will be emphasized. Prerequisites: Successful completion of year 1 coursework or authorization by Program Director
This didactic and laboratory-based course continues to build on the principles of motor control and neuroscience previously taught, and expands on concepts introduced in PDPT 630. This course will focus on the application of a systematic clinical decision-making approach to the physical therapy care of adults with neurologic health conditions resulting from specific acquired disorders of both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Students will be required to integrate their knowledge of current evidence addressing each neurologic disease / disorder with the patient’s medical history, interdisciplinary examination findings, and results of tests and measures examining body structure / function impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Clinical decisions addressing the areas of examination, movement system diagnosis, goal-setting, design and progression of the physical therapy plan of care, and outcomes assessment will be considered as they relate to each health condition. Prerequisites: Successful completion of PDPT 630
This course is designed to equip the student with the skills necessary to perform a medical screening and differential diagnosis. Lectures and hands on lab sessions will include algorithms for problem solving, systems review of pathology, integration of diagnostic imaging and laboratory testing in diagnosis, palpation and observation. Prerequisite: Successful completion of coursework year 1 or authorized by program director
This course addresses the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention of orthopedic/musculoskeletal injuries of the upper and lower extremities. Medical screening and differential diagnosis will also be covered. Students will plan, initiate, develop, and implement appropriate therapeutic treatments including manual techniques, outcome assessment, and patient education. This course will also consist of laboratory sessions where the students must demonstrate techniques under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 1 or authorized by program director
This course addresses the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention of orthopedic/musculoskeletal injuries of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and pelvic regions as well as TMJ. Students will plan, initiate, develop, and implement appropriate therapeutic treatments including manual techniques, outcome assessment, and patient education. This course will also consist of laboratory sessions where the students must demonstrate techniques under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisites: Successful completion of PDPT650
This course covers the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention for individuals with upper and lower limb amputations or impairments requiring external stabilization such as orthotics, splints, or prosthetics. This course will also consist of laboratory sessions where the students must demonstrate techniques under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 1 or authorized by program director
Students receive instruction in the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention of children with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. Emphasis will be placed on school-based practice, early intervention, age-specific standardized developmental tests and assessments, and the psychosocial needs of the child and family. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 1 or authorized by program director
This course is a 6 week full time clinical experience. Students will be under direct supervision of a clinical instructor at an assigned outpatient physical therapy clinic, rehabilitation clinic, or acute care facility. Clinical sites vary in their location and it is the student’s responsibility for travel and living expenses if they occur. Prerequisites: Successful completion of PDPT 580 and preparedness approval
Students receive instruction in the various imaging techniques used in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders including x-ray, computerized tomography, magnetic resonance, ultrasound and radioisotope imaging. The class covers the principles of each technique, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each and focuses on the clinical interpretation and implications for rehabilitation. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 1 or authorized by program director
This course covers issues related to the culture of disability, social and behavioral effects of illness and injury and the influence disability has on families and patients. Issues relating with coping, dying, living with, and acquiring a disability will also be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on the interpersonal relationship between the healthcare provider and the patient and family. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 2 or authorized by program director
In this course students will develop a scholarly professional research project. The professional research project may take the form of: assisting faculty in their on-going research, developing and delivering an educational program for a specific audience, evidence-based clinical research, patient-related outcomes research, and other projects proposed by the student which is agreed upon by their faculty research advisor. Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior coursework or authorized by program director
In this course students will develop a scholarly professional research project. The professional research project may take the form of: assisting faculty in their on-going research, developing and delivering an educational program for a specific audience, evidence-based clinical research, patient-related outcomes research, and other projects proposed by the student which is agreed upon by their faculty research advisor. Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior coursework or authorized by program director
In this course students will develop a scholarly professional research project. The professional research project may take the form of: assisting faculty in their on-going research, developing and delivering an educational program for a specific audience, evidence-based clinical research, patient-related outcomes research, and other projects proposed by the student which is agreed upon by their faculty research advisor. Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior coursework or authorized by program director
This course emphasizes service learning. During this course, the students will identify community needs, develop a service-learning project in conjunction with a community partner, and carry out the project. Ideas related to social responsibility, advocacy and professionalism are explored through class room activities, formal papers, reflective journaling, readings and a final project presentation. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 2 or authorized by program director
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This course introduces students to various aspects of physical therapy practice management. Topics include: demographic analysis and feasibility study, business plan design, contract negotiation, marketing strategies and practice building, daily operations, billing and productivity, liability, personnel management, human resources and community service. Elements unique to private practice, hospital and skilled care facilities will be analyzed. Current topics in government health care policy will be discussed. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 2 or authorized by program director
This course covers professional licensure, comprehensive examination, preparation for the national exam, continuing education requirements, and post-graduate opportunities in teaching and research. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 2 or authorized by program director
In this course students will complete a scholarly professional research project. The professional research project may take the form of: assisting faculty in their on-going research, developing and delivering an educational program for a specific audience, evidence-based clinical research, patient-related outcomes research, and other projects proposed by the student which is agreed upon by their faculty research advisor. Students are expected to successfully pass and defend the professional research project. Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior coursework or authorized by program director
Students receive instruction in topics of current interest and provide advanced study in specific areas such as running, orthotics, casting and bracing for pediatrics, 3-D motion analysis, footwear design, endurance training, athletic taping, educational strategies, fatigue, and other areas related to physical therapy. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework year 2 or authorized by program director
This course is an 8 week full time clinical experience. Students will be under direct supervision of a clinical instructor at an assigned outpatient physical therapy clinic, rehabilitation clinic, pediatric facility, or acute care facility. Clinical sites vary in their location and it is the student’s responsibility for travel and living expenses if they occur. Prerequisite: Successful completion of PDPT 680 and preparedness approval
This course is a 9 week full time clinical experience. Students will be under direct supervision of a clinical instructor at an assigned outpatient physical therapy clinic, rehabilitation clinic, pediatric facility, or acute care facility. Clinical sites vary in their location and it is the student’s responsibility for travel and living expenses if they occur. Prerequisite: Successful completion of PDPT 780
This course is a 10 week full time clinical experience. Students will be under direct supervision of a clinical instructor at an assigned outpatient physical therapy clinic, rehabilitation clinic, pediatric facility, or acute care facility. Clinical sites vary in their location and it is the student’s responsibility for travel and living expenses if they occur. Prerequisite: Successful completion of PDPT 781