Please note: the DPT program is currently undergoing a significant revision to its curriculum. Updates will be provided here when available. Listed below are the course descriptions for the current curriculum.
PTRS 701 – Professional Interactions
This course introduces the student to the physical therapy profession and professional role expectations. The history of physical therapy as it relates to the professionalization process, including ethical and legal obligations, as well as student responsibilities. It also addresses the development of effective communication and interpersonal skills and appreciation for individual and cultural differences within clinical settings. Professional responsibilities in physical therapy are introduced, including codes of ethical conduct and awareness of appropriate professional behaviors directed by organizational and legislative regulations. The development of medical terminology recall and recognition skills is also covered in the course.
PTRS 703 – Physical Therapy Tests and Measures
Students will be introduced to some of the tests and measures that physical therapists use as a mean to gather information about the patient/client. The tests and measures covered include: vital signs, perceived exertion, anthropometric measures, goniometry, manual muscle testing, sensory testing, reflex testing and palpation of surface anatomy. Learning opportunities include: lecture, laboratory, demonstration and patient interaction.
PTRS 710 – Advanced Topics in Human Anatomy
The student will obtain a basic understanding of human gross anatomy with specific knowledge of upper and lower extremities, head and neck, and back. At the end of this course the student will be able to apply this knowledge of anatomy to functional and clinical situations.
PTRS 702 – Physical Therapy Documentation
This course emphasizes the development of effective documentation skills, including exposure to a variety of documentation formats and implications for proper reimbursement. Disablement classification models, behavioral objectives, and functional outcome concepts are applied to organize patient data and identify treatment goals. With an emphasis on physical therapy practice, delivery of health care, various team structures used in providing health care, and the roles of the physical therapist assistant are provided. This course includes multiple homework assignments to develop both hand-written and electronic documentation skills in the student.
PTRS 704 – Basics of Acute Care Physical Therapy
Skills required by the physical therapist in the generalist acute care environment. A series of patient care related lectures, demonstrations, videotapes and laboratories are integrated to teach and apply proper body mechanics, infection control, standard precautions and sterile technique, basic assessment, transfers, bed mobility and positioning, safe use and handling of tubes, ostomies, clinic safety procedures, tilt table usage, prescribing the proper WC and instruction on wheelchair mobility, applying proper therapeutic ROM exercises, and using appropriate assistive devices for gait and transfers.
PTRS 711 – Applied Kinesiology and Biomechanics
The course involves a study of joint structure, joint function, and the biomechanical principles underlying the kinetics and kinematics of human motion, including normal gait and selected pathological gait patterns. Emphasis is placed on the interaction between biomechanical and physiological factors in musculoskeletal and neuromuscular function, and the application of kinesiological principles to clinical physical therapy situations. Students will apply knowledge of osteokinematics, arthrokinematics, surface anatomy, and basic mechanical and physiological principles to assess, analyze and interpret results of quantitative measurements of human movement.
PTRS 882 – Pathophysiology and Clinical Screening of General Medical Conditions
Review of integrative human pathophysiology with an emphasis upon homeostatic mechanisms and etiologies of disease will be provided. The interrelationships of function and dysfunction at the molecular, cellular and tissue level (pathology), organ and systemic level (impairment) and to the total human body (functional limitations) will be applied in each of the body systems. Discussions and applied materials will be tailored to the physical therapist with an emphasis on clinical tools to medically screen patients for the presence of symptoms and signs that require the expertise of other health care professionals.
PTRS 720 – Clinical Education I
This course comprises a four week clinical practicum at an assigned facility. Students will be exposed to a clinical setting and preliminary opportunities for application of didactic course work. Emphasis will be placed on the development of communication and interpersonal skills in the clinical setting, as well as documentation and physical therapy skills and procedures that have been introduced in classes.
PTRS 705 – Physical Therapy Interventions
Students will apply the skills obtained in Physical Therapy Test and Measures, Physical Therapy Documentation and Basics of Acute Care Physical Therapy and begin clinical problem-solving using common physical therapy treatment interventions. Topics include edema management, integumentary management with an emphasis on wound healing interventions, therapeutic modalities (superficial heat, cold, diathermies, sound, water and massage) with an emphasis on the healing process and the electrical modalities. Learning opportunities include lecture, laboratory, demonstration and patient interaction.
PTRS 745 – Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I
Examination skills and treatment interventions that apply specifically to the musculoskeletal system are provided including principles of radiology. Basic examination skills for all peripheral joints, abnormal gait, and therapeutic exercise are discussed and reviewed. A problem-solving wrap-up session, guided by a local clinician will allow small groups of students to perform an evaluation of a patient with a musculoskeletal disorder.
PTRS 746 – Orthopedic Medicine
Mastery of physical therapy subjective and objective examination and treatment intervention for patients of all ages who present with a musculoskeletal problem with emphasis on amputation, prosthetics, upper and lower extremity orthoses, fracture management and connective tissue disorders. Emphasis will be placed on the most common clinical problems and physical therapy diagnoses.
PTRS 750 – Research in Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Practice
An introduction to research in the evidence-based physical therapy practice including library and multimedia resources, research process, measurement theory (reliability and validity), research designs, experimental design principles, research ethics, critical review and analysis of research publications, writing of a research report and/or research proposal, and statistical concepts and data analysis. Throughout, emphasis is placed on clinical research pertinent to physical therapy.
PTRS 730 – Clinical Education II
This course is comprised of a four week clinical practicum at an assigned facility. Students will be exposed to a clinical setting and continuing opportunities for application of didactic course work. Emphasis will continue to be placed on the development of communication and interpersonal skills in the clinical setting, as well as documentation and physical therapy skills and procedures that have been introduced in classes.
PTRS 825 – Exercise Physiology
Several concepts specifically related to exercise physiology will be discussed in this course. Students will demonstrate an understanding of exercise physiology by achieving satisfactory evaluations on examinations of the following topics: bioenergetics; basic concepts of substrate metabolism and metabolic responses to exercise; neuroendocrine control of exercise; principles of skeletal muscle contraction and adaptation; pulmonary ventilation during exercise; cardiovascular function and performance; and nutrition related to athletic performance. Laboratory sessions are designed to engage the student in basic exercise testing techniques.
PTRS 845 – Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II
Terminology, examination, evaluation, development of a treatment plan and treatment techniques and basic differential diagnosis skills for the spine are taught through lecture, demonstration and student participation.
PTRS 850 – Neuroscience
This course will focus on the study of the gross and microscopic structure, organization, and function of the nervous and muscular systems. Emphasis is on the sensory and motor systems involved in motor control and on basic knowledge required for clinical practice.
PTRS 855 – Pharmacology
Pharmacological background for the clinical treatment of patients referred to physical therapy. Fundamentals of the actions of drugs including mechanisms of therapeutic and adverse effects are reviewed.
PTRS 834 – Management in Patient Care
This course is designed to familiarize the entry-level therapist with contemporary issues in health care which impact the delivery of physical therapy. Professionalism, management and administrative principles are focused on management of direct patient care. Financial management specifically reimbursement for patient services, personal risk management, information management, personnel management, compliance and ethics related to patient care will be discussed. Discussion of professional development is intertwined throughout the course.
PTRS 826 – Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy
Anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular and
pulmonary systems are studied and related to clinical signs and symptoms. Students are introduced to common evaluation and treatment techniques, as well as the rationale for including physical therapy in the management of cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions. These topics are discussed in conjunction with case studies, problem solving approaches, and current research.
PTRS 846 – Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy III
Terminology, examination, evaluation, development of a treatment plan and treatment techniques and advanced differential diagnosis skills for the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) complex, pelvis/SI joint and complex peripheral and/ or spinal disorders including concepts of neurodynamics, soft tissue, work conditioning, traction and surgical interventions.
PTRS 851 – Control of Human Movement
This course will combine the physiological, neurological and psychological factors that contribute to the control of voluntary movement and the learning of motor skills. Changes over the life span, as well as changes secondary to pathology will be covered, with the emphasis on the effects of brain damage. The development of the control of movement, neuroplasticity, and the effects of practice will be discussed. The course will focus on the relationship of our scientific knowledge in motor control and motor learning to the practice of physical therapy.
PTRS 877 – Administration in Physical Therapy
This course is designed to familiarize the entry-level therapist with contemporary issues in health care which impact the practice of physical therapy in the health care system. Changes in the US health care system will be discussed, including managed care, legal and ethical concepts, plus essential elements and principles of management in health care organizations, and an overview of human resources and operational management. Students will be exposed to business development and entrepreneurial skills needed to expand or start up a physical therapy practice.
PTRS 830 – Clinical Education III
This course comprises a six week clinical practicum at an assigned facility. Students will be exposed to a clinical setting and continuing opportunities for application of didactic course work. Emphasis will be placed on the development of communication and interpersonal skills (701), the application of general physical therapy evaluation and treatment skills (711, 712, 745, 746, 750, 855, 785), preliminary documentation (702), differential diagnosis of general medical conditions (880), evidence based physical therapy practice (750) and basic physical therapy skills and procedures in the clinical setting (703, 704, 705).
PTRS 832 – Health Promotion Through the Lifespan
This course focuses on the role of the physical therapist in health promotion across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on familiarizing the students with the concept of wellness, health/fitness screening methods, nutrition, education, health promotion programs in the community and the overall role wellness plays in a person’s long term well being.
PTRS 852 – Neurologic Physical Therapy I
This course will integrate neurophysiology and neuroanatomy into the clinical presentation of adults with neurologic pathology. Students will learn the etiology, epidemiology signs, and symptoms of selected neurological conditions including but not limited to: stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Guillain Barre’ syndrome, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The medical management of patients with central and peripheral nervous system disorders will be presented in relationship to the practice of physical therapy. The course will introduce examination and treatment of impairments for persons with neuromuscular pathologies including effects on other body systems. Students will be presented with simple case studies and progress to more complex patient problems.
PTRS 861 – Evidence-Based Research Practicum I
Supervised and directed experiences in conducting evidence-based research activities. The research activities involved in this course are broadly defined with emphasis on the enhancement of evidence-based physical therapy practice. Activities include: organizing and performing a thorough literature review and a research task; interpreting findings and formulating logical conclusions; and assessing the clinical relevance of the research task in terms of its effect on evidence-based practice.
PTRS 833 – Pediatric Physical Therapy
This course introduces fundamental concepts necessary for the entry-level physical therapist to examine, evaluate, and treat the pediatric client. Lecture and lab experiences emphasize a problem‑oriented approach to physical therapy management of children with musculoskeletal, neurological, and/or cardiopulmonary impairments. Students will learn to recognize components of normal and abnormal development, particularly during the first year of life.
PTRS 853 – Neurologic Physical Therapy II
This course will explore functional mobility deficits in patients with neurologic pathology. Building upon previous coursework, students will acquire the skills to hypothesize about the relationship of pathology, impairments, and involvement of other systems to functional deficits for adults with neurologic pathology. Contemporary motor control and motor learning theories and research evidence will be emphasized in the development of appropriate intervention programs. Psychosocial factors will also be considered in the discussion of complex patient cases.
PTRS 860 – Evidence-Based Research Practicum II
Supervised and directed experiences in conducting evidence-based research activities. The research activities involved in this course are broadly defined with emphasis on the presentation and communication of an evidence-based research project. Activities include: Discuss results from evidence-based research project, presentation of the evidence-based research project and Communicate ideas and findings in verbal form to colleagues and be prepared to present the evidence-based research project at a regional, state or national conference.
PTRS 890 – Complex Patient Management
The Complex Patient Management course requires students to apply the five elements of patient/client management for addressing multi-system impairments across the lifespan. The impact of age, gender and ethnic factors on the presentation of impairments and management will be considered in this course. Students will be encouraged to implement a holistic, critical thinking approach of physical therapy management for patients with a variety of complex medical and surgical needs. Special attention will be given to mental health, ethics and exercise prescription within each unit. Guest speakers with expertise in specific practice areas will facilitate the instruction through simulated paper and electronic patient cases. Students will have the opportunity to select a case for a group presentation based on their clinical interests. Students will plan and demonstrate physical therapy evaluations and interventions. Student will also identify appropriate referrals to address needs outside the physical therapist’s scope of practice.
PTRS 840 – Clinical Education IV
This course is comprised of a six week clinical practicum at an assigned facility. Students will be exposed to a clinical setting and continuing opportunities for application of didactic course work. Emphasis will be placed on the development of communication and interpersonal skills (701), the application of general physical therapy evaluation and treatment skills (711, 712, 745, 746, 750, 855, 785), preliminary documentation (702), differential diagnosis of general medical conditions (880), evidence based physical therapy practice (750, 860, 861), assessing patients with neuromuscular conditions (850, 851, 852), cardiopulmonary conditions (826), and musculoskeletal conditions (846) as well as the basic physical therapy skills or procedures in the clinical setting (703, 704, 705).
PTRS 923-924 – Clinical Education V
Eighteen weeks of clinical practica in two different practice settings for nine weeks each. During these clinical rotations the student will have the opportunity to develop the patient care skills needed for successful practice as a physical therapist. The student will work under the supervision of an experienced physical therapist in clinical settings affiliated with the program.