Physical Therapy Post-Professional Program Course Descriptions

PT 503 Ethics and Law (2 credits)

This course is an overview of ethical principles, including major ethical theories. Emphasis is on identifying and analyzing ethical dilemmas in the practice of physical therapy and applying the ethical principles, as well as the APTA Code of Ethics to resolve ethical dilemmas. This course also includes aspects of constitutional, state, federal and case law as it applies to physical therapy in the United States and how ethics and law interact in practice.

PT 504 Teaching Methods (2 credits)

Physical therapists assume the role of teachers in a variety of situations with a diverse group of learners. This course explores theories and methods related to effective teaching, student learning, and assessment strategies across multiple settings including clinic, classroom, laboratory, home setting and community. The role of educational technology in teaching and learning activities is emphasized. Examination of individual and social factors that influence health and wellness are discussed, and key concepts from behavioral theories are applied to patient education in clinical practice situations. There is an introduction to educational assessment strategies for community-based health programs.

PT 505 Clinical Decision Making (2 credits)

Physical therapists, like all other healthcare providers, routinely make decisions affecting patients in daily care. Such decisions may be based on a variety of sources, including experience, intuition, testimonials from teachers or colleagues, and findings from literature. This course is designed to provide a framework for making future and evaluating past clinical decisions based on the best available evidence. This course assists the student in developing the tools needed to provide evidence-based physical therapy practice. The course includes projects and online discussions relevant to each student’s clinical practice and ensures that the student applies the theories and tools to everyday situations.

PT 508 Medical Screening (2 credits)

This course helps to prepare the physical therapist to assume the role of an independent practitioner working within a collaborative medical model. Inherent in this role is the ability to recognize clinical manifestations that suggest physician or other healthcare provider contact is warranted regarding a patient’s health status. Students apply the concept of threshold detection to identify impairments or “red flags” in medical screening that warrant referral to other professionals. An examination scheme is designed to promote efficient and effective collection of patient data to provide the structure for discussions. Patient cases are presented to illustrate important medical screening principles. Professional communication with patients and physicians is also a central theme.

PT 515 Clinical Decision Making: International Physical Therapists
(2 credits)

Physical therapists, like all other healthcare providers, routinely make decisions affecting patients in daily care. Such decisions may be based on a variety of sources, including experience, intuition, testimonials from teachers or colleagues, and findings from literature. This course is designed to provide Foreign-educated physical therapists with a framework for making future and evaluating past clinical decisions based on the best available evidence. This course assists the student in developing the tools needed to provide evidence-based physical therapy practice. The course includes projects and online discussions relevant to each student’s clinical practice and ensures that the student applies the theories and tools to everyday situations.

PT 516 Post-Professional Orientation (1 credit)

This course serves as an introduction to the Post-professional education for international therapists and introduces students to the concepts of online education, professionalism and level of practice in the United States. Further the course will help students prepare for PT 515.

PT 518 Medical Screening across the Lifespan (2 credits)

This course is designed to advance the knowledge and skills necessary to identify the need for medical referral in a variety of settings, with an emphasis on medical conditions that mimic musculoskeletal dysfunction across the lifespan. Imaging guidelines and drug side effects will also be discussed as they apply to the physical therapist’s role in collaborative practice.

PT 522 Health Care Systems (2 credits)

This course explores the complexities of the American health-care system, identifying resources, delivery systems, market needs based on demographics, and the regulatory infrastructure. It includes the system’s historical development, the multiplicity of stakeholders, examples of subsystems, and comparisons with systems across the world. The focus is on recognizing the major impact of the current system from the perspective of patients, practitioners, and first- second- and third-party payers.

PT 523 Data Acquisition and Management (2 credits)

This course reviews the sources of data in policy decisions, including public and private databases and provides an introduction to methods of analyzing the data in these sources, including data mining. It also includes introduction to techniques to identify trends in data, particularly over time. Modeling to predict changes in the future also is reviewed. Students learn basic data handling, as well as when and how to select experts to assist in detailed analyses.

PT 524 Introduction to Health Economics (2 credits)

Non-economists are frequently confronted with decision-making situations but lack the tools, terminology and techniques to participate in the dialogue. This course aims to equip non-economists with a knowledge base to participate in the strategic choices that are made in the health-care industry. The course provides students with the basic theoretical foundations to understand and analyze problems associated with health care. All too often, economics is seen as simply cost-cutting measures or a quick solution in times of financial exigency. Neither is the case, economics strives to assess the best attainable method to allocate the scarce financial means available to a decision maker.

PT 525 Program Evaluation and Quality Assessment (2 credits)

This course introduces the principles of program evaluation and quality assessment in health care. Topics include consideration of a wide variety of performance metrics used to measure and assess the impact of programs deployed or the quality of services delivered at individual, professional, organizational and societal levels. Data presentation formats and use of data to make judgments about program performance or quality are covered. The roles and interests of various stakeholders involved in the program evaluation and quality assessment enterprise also are discussed. Examples of program evaluation and quality assessment are drawn from international sources.

PT 526 Legislative, Regulatory and Legal Processes (2 credits)

This course reviews the use of legislation at all jurisdictional levels to create health policy. It includes analysis of key examples of recent legislation, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It examines the role played by a variety of stakeholders, including legislators, staff, lobbyists, and constituents. Use and misuse of data in the political decision making process is explored.

PT 527 Health Policy Development (2 credits)

This course explores the many ways that policy is developed, including facility and organizational policy, professional policy, payer policy, and legislative policy. The processes for developing standards, guidelines and options for clinical practice also are examined. The focus is on the sources of data used to reach policy decisions, as well as elements of decision making in adopting the policy. Examples of policy development are drawn from across international sources. In addition to some aspects of this course being taught online via the Blackboard Academic Suite, there will be a face-to-face, day-long session, and students will present a Capstone project that has been developed across the entire six courses.

PT 528 Health Care Systems (2 credits)

This course is an introduction to the American health system, examining four major components: resources, delivery systems, planning and regulatory structure, and consumers. Emphasis is on the interactions among the identified components of the system, as well as the roles and responsibilities of physical therapists as professionals in the system. Potential changes in the system and in the role of physical therapy as a profession also are discussed.

PT 547 Health Promotion (2 credits)

Prevention, risk reduction and health promotion are activities included in the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, and although physical therapists have performed these activities with individual patients and clients, participation in broader programs for communities or groups of people is an area of significant need and opportunity. Health promotion and wellness theory are presented in this course to prepare physical therapists to integrate these concepts into their current practice and/or to expand their practices and consultative skills in the prevention arena. Students also are introduced to a variety of techniques commonly used in the strategic planning process and use those techniques to develop a plan for the introduction of a health promotion program relevant to their own practice settings or worksites. After the introduction and discussion of key concepts, including assessment and program planning, students complete a project and develop a health promotion program using the health promotion approach and strategic planning processes.

PT 555 Pharmacology (2 credits)

Individuals involved in healthcare recognize that drugs can influence patients’ response to physical rehabilitation. Medication can provide beneficial effects that act synergistically with physical therapy treatments, or they can generate side effects that may adversely affect rehabilitation goals. This course presents some of the basic drug classes and the physiologic basis of their action. Drugs are grouped according to their general effects and the type of disorders for which they are routinely used to treat. Special emphasis is placed on drugs that are commonly used to treat disorders seen in patients receiving physical therapy and how drug therapy interacts with rehabilitation.

PT 556 Diagnostic Imaging (2 credits)

This course is an overview of the various types of diagnostic imaging procedures such as radiography, computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear imaging. General principles related to indications, strengths and limitations of each method are discussed. Specific procedures related to various anatomic regions and pathologies also are covered. Case study presentations are used to emphasize the decision making related to diagnostic imaging studies and what relevant information can be provided. Clinical decision making in the context of evidence-based practice guides the discussion of each case.

PT 656 Neuromuscular Tissues (2 credits)

This course material is covered via guided independent study or as a seven-week online course. Using assigned readings and personal searches of the literature, students review the basic structure and function of various tissues within the neuromusculoskeletal system and integrate the information with clinical practice. For the musculoskeletal tissue component, new information relevant to skeletal muscle and various connective tissues such as tendon, ligament, cartilage and bone is examined. Case scenarios require the student to explore the effects of altered patterns of use with appropriate clinical application. The neural control of multi-joint limb movement is explored using current literature on motor control, cognition and motor learning. Case scenarios are used to describe the relevance of recent research on clinical practice. Traditional and contemporary theories are contrasted to assist in developing direct intervention strategies using skill acquisition theories. Emphasis is placed on reading and applying current basic science literature to justify and guide the practice of physical therapy.

PT 680 Evidence Based Practice and Clinical Reasoning (2 credits)

This course provides the physical therapist with a systematic method for critically analyzing and evaluating current research for integration into clinical practice. Clinical decision-making is guided by relevant literature reviews to minimize practice variation, minimize health-care costs, and identify potential or actual harm to patients.

PT 681 Cervical-Thoracic Spine and Temporomandibular Joint
(2 credits)

This course provides a comprehensive background of the anatomy and biomechanics of the cervical-thoracic spine and temporomandibular joint. Content also addresses musculoskeletal imaging, functional anatomy, assessment, and outcome tools relevant to this body region. Common conditions in addition to appropriate medical screening are discussed. Emphasis is placed on best practice and current evidence to support examination and intervention techniques of cervical-thoracic spine and temporomandibular joint.

PT 682 Upper Extremity: Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand (2 credits)

This course provides a comprehensive background of the anatomy and biomechanics of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. Content also addresses musculoskeletal imaging, functional anatomy, assessment, and outcome tools relevant to the upper extremity. Common conditions in addition to appropriate medical screening are discussed. Emphasis is placed on best practice and current evidence to support examination and intervention techniques of the upper extremity.

PT 683 Lumbar Spine and Sacroiliac Joint (2 credits)

This course provides a comprehensive background of the anatomy and biomechanics of the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint. Content also addresses musculoskeletal imaging, functional anatomy, assessment, and outcome tools relevant to this body region. Common conditions in addition to appropriate medical screening are discussed. Emphasis is placed on best practice and current evidence to support examination and intervention techniques of the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint.

PT 684 Lower Extremity: Hip, Knee, Ankle and Gait (2 credits)

This course provides a comprehensive background of the anatomy and biomechanics of the hip, knee, ankle, and foot. Content also addresses musculoskeletal imaging, functional anatomy, assessment, and outcome tools relevant to the lower extremity. Common conditions in addition to appropriate medical screening are discussed. Emphasis is placed on best practice and current evidence to support examination and intervention techniques of the lower extremity.

PT 702 Case Analysis (2 credits)

Students develop a comprehensive case presentation based on a selected patient or client in their practice setting. The case analysis demonstrates the clinical decision-making process used to guide patient and client management throughout the episode of care, including the examination, evaluation, prognosis and planned interventions. Students address the use of specific diagnostic tests and imaging studies related to the case, the implications of the pharmacologic management of the patient and specific outcomes measures as they relate to decision-making and effective interventions.

PT 705/706/707/708 Clinical Practice Series (2 credits)

The Clinical Practice Series spans three separate 2-credit courses, each emphasizing recent advances in a particular specialty area of physical therapy practice. Transitional D.P.T. students are required to choose one based upon their area of practice. These courses are meant to provide the most recent evidence-based information related to clinical practice. The content in these courses reinforces and reflects principles taught in the clinical decision making courses; however, emphasis is placed on specific recommendations for clinical management (i.e. content rather than process). Each course emphasizes a clinical reasoning process, use of appropriate tests and measures, use of appropriate interventions, and the most relevant outcome measures.

PT 705 Orthopedic Physical Therapy (2 credits)

Management of common orthopedic conditions related to the extremities and spine including non-surgical and post-operative problems.

PT 706 Neurologic Physical Therapy (2 credits)

Management of hemiplegia, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and common pediatric conditions such as cerebral palsy.

PT 707 Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy (2 credits)

Management of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory illnesses and as well as patients following myocardial infarction or thoracic surgery including coronary artery bypass.

PT 708 Integumentary Physical Therapy (2 credits)

Examination, evaluation, and management of patients with skin disorders and lesions, including acute and chronic wounds, vascular and pressure wounds, and infections.

PT 789 Independent Study-Orthopaedic (2 credits)

This course provides the mentoring and clinical learning experiences for the Orthopaedic Clinical Residency Program and works to develop and produce expert physical therapists who provide best practice using evidence in the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and outcome of musculoskeletal conditions.

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