Provides supervised instruction in the delivery of physical therapy in a student preferred clinic setting. provides instruction during the administration of therapeutic skills in a clinical setting. Emphasizes independent problem solving and student directed creativity in the delivery of the total therapy program. Skills applications are reflective of all domains of physical therapy practice including rehabilitation techniques and specialized settings, e.g., school based therapy, home health settings, etc. Lecture 1 hour. Clinical 20 hours. Total 21 hours per week.


This course prepares the student as an entry level physical therapist practitioner. It is the third 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 critical clinical reasoning and independent problem solving for the delivery of the complete therapy program. In the final clinic experiences the complete therapy program is extended to include necessary administrative functions, e.g., acquiring approvals for therapy, (as directed by the physical therapist), billing, acquiring equipment for discharge, reporting at patient care conferences, etc. The student is assigned to one of three prioritized clinic setting types. A minimum of one clinic in-service is required of each student.

A clinic seminar accompanies the clinic experience. It provides a forum for discussion/sharing of clinic experience. Seminar topics are otherwise structured to prepare the student to enter the practice of physical therapy, e.g., resume preparation, interview skills, performance evaluations, administrative responsibilities associated with employment, licensure examination preparation, etc. Selected clinic topics that are new in the practice environment are also included.


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"
PTH 210 - "Psychological Aspects of Therapy"
PTH 227 - "Pathological Conditions"
PTH 231 - "Clinical Education II"
PTH 245 - "Professional Issues"

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

    A. assess client subjective information and objective performance to relative to the physical therapist established treatment goals and determine the presence of, or lack of progress toward the stated goals

    B. integrate the relation of a specific treatment intervention to a specific treatment goal

    C. design a coordinated treatment session, complete with documentation and home exercise instruction specific to the established plan of care

    D. suggest treatment strategies, including exercise interventions, consistent with the established treatment goals and plan of care

    E. administer client treatment in a safe, effective and time efficient manner. Effectiveness is based upon client expected outcome. 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.

    F. 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

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

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

    I. write and present a clinic in-service appropriate to the assigned clinic setting

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. Patient outcomes

    D. Treatment modifications and variations

    E. Patient care documentation

    F. Time management

    G. Interpersonal relationships

    H. Psychosocial responses to the clinic environment; patient/therapist relationships
    I. Administration, billing practices, performance evaluations, etc.

    J. In-service teaching

    K. Laws, rules and regulations governing physical therapy practice

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

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

    C. Aquatic therapy

    D. Business/practice planning

Revised 9/98

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