Provides supervised instruction during the administration of therapeutic skills in a clinical setting. Emphasizes the total therapy program including rehabilitation techniques and specialized exercise programs. Provides experience in a variety of clinical settings. Lecture 2 hours. Clinical 15 hours. Total 17 hours per week.


This course provides the student with direct patient care experiences in a supervised clinic setting. It is the second of three required clinical education courses. Student clinic activities directly supervised by clinic faculty who is guided by academic faculty regarding expected student outcomes. The focus of the clinic experience is the delivery of the complete therapy program and communication of the client responses to treatment in a professional and effective manner, as well as the building of a professional identity as a physical therapist assistant via relating to varied health professions, the client and the client's family. The student is assigned to one of many local clinic facilities, including specialty facilities, e.g., rehabilitation centers and specialized outpatient clinics, and may encounter a broad range of physical therapy experiences.

A weekly clinic seminar provides information regarding other health care disciplines, the role and identity of the health care team, and problem identification and resolution strategies. As the clinic experience progresses, students are required to deliver a formal case presentation to both clinic staff and in the classroom.


Prerequisites for this course are as follows:

PTH 105 - "Introduction to Physical Therapy"
PTH 121 - "Therapeutic Procedures I"
PTH 151 - "Musculoskeletal Structure and Function"
PTH 115 - "Kinesiology for the Physical Therapist Assistant"
PTH 122 - "Therapeutic Procedures II"
PTH 131 - "Clinical Education I"
PTH 225 - Rehabilitation Procedures"

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

A. clearly identify the role of a physical therapist assistant and verify him/herself as a future practitioner

B. function in the role of a physical therapist assistant according the APTA Code of Ethics for the Affiliate Member within the organization and administration of the assigned health care facility

  C. coordinate and deliver client treatment based upon the physical therapist established plan of care, safely and effectively. Skills competencies are inclusive of all skills learned in the academic setting and those learned, which are specific to the individual clinic setting. (Critical competencies are defined in the NVCC Evaluation of Clinical Performance for the Physical Therapist Assistant Student.
    D. analyze the plan of care with regard to the physical therapist documented treatment goals, e.g., relate treatment delivery to the respective goals

    E. communicate verbally in language appropriate to patients and professional staff

    F. document patient progress using acceptable format, appropriate language and accurate and complete content

    G. write and present a formal client case presentation according to the guidelines defined in the NVCC PTA Student Handbook and presents it to the class in a logical organized manner being able to interpret and answer questions appropriately.

MAJOR TOPICS TO BE INCLUDED A. Physical therapy skills application, including but not limited to:
    1. modalities
    2. goniometry
    3. therapeutic massage
    4. cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
    5. therapeutic exercise
    6. movement analysis
    7. rehabilitation
    B. Clinical decision-making

    C. Treatment modifications and variations

    D. Patient care documentation

    E. Role definition and clarification

    F. Time management

    G. Interpersonal relationships

    H. Problem resolution

    I. Student case presentations

EXTRA TOPICS (optional)
    A. Examination methods and physical therapy evaluation

    B. Patient outcomes

    C. Psychosocial responses to the clinic environment; patient/therapist relationships

    D. Clinic observations e.g., surgery, radiography, occupational therapy, case conferences, medical rounds

Revised 9/96

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