Physical Therapy

Course Descriptions

QUARTER ONE

DPT 6110 Physical Therapy Fundamentals   -    2-2-0-4

This lab-based course introduces students to fundamental assessment skills of patients with orthopedic and neurologic diagnoses in various inpatient and outpatient settings. Content is introduced to provide immediate application to the physical therapy clinical environment. This course introduces patient positioning and handling skills including palpation, infection control, vital signs, body mechanics, patient transfers, and gait training. An introduction to soft tissue and integumentary healing compliments instruction on physical agents and clinical decision making for pain modulation. This course also includes: foundations of defensible documentation with appropriate medical terminology, introduction to the medical interview, examination tests and measures, and measuring patient outcomes. Laboratory sessions focus on foundational psychomotor skills including, but not limited to, goniometry, range of motion, manual muscle testing and anthropometric measures to manage patients in various clinical settings.

Prerequisite(s): None

DPT 6120 Physical Agents   -   1-1-0-2

This course introduces students to the underlying principles and clinical applications of selected thermal and electrical physical agents. Critical appraisal of current evidence examines the physical and physiological effects of these modalities, with particular emphasis on pain, inflammation, tissue healing, and muscle re-education. Clinical decision-making emphasizes the appropriate selection of physical agents and treatment parameters based on patient indications and contraindications/precautions and desired treatment effects.  Laboratory sessions develop skills for the safe and effective clinical application of thermal and electrical physical agents.

Prerequisite(s): None

DPT 6130 Professional Competencies I   -   1-0-0-1

The course is the first of a two course series introduces the student to the physical therapy profession and the professional roles and responsibilities of the physical therapist in healthcare. Special emphasis is placed on exploring constructs of cultural competency and associated behaviors of medical professionals. This course includes the study of learning theories, learning styles, characteristics of learners through the lifespan, and literacy and communication issues for patients.  These learning concepts prepare students for the DPT program curriculum and for clinical practice as a life-long learners and educators in the physical therapy profession.  Instruction includes essential technology competencies that help manage healthcare delivery in a constantly changing digital world.  Software and mobile apps are leveraged to improve communication, facilitate learning, and enhance clinical practice and patient outcomes.

Prerequisite(s): None

DPT 6140 Evidence-based Practice I   -   2-0-0-2

This course introduces general research principles and evidence-based practice. The student becomes oriented to the South College library system and technology resources and becomes familiar with high-level literature reviews. Students begin the formulation of clinical questions, methods of obtaining peer-reviewed research to those clinical questions, and how to critically appraise the evidence. The student is introduced to the following topics in the research process: basic research design, issues of reliability and validity, diagnostic utility of clinical tests, and fundamentals of conducting a literature review. This course provides a framework for assignments in subsequent courses in which evidence-based foundations of physical therapy are presented.

Prerequisite(s): None

DPT 6150 Human Physiology   -   3-0-0-3

This foundational course provides the student with a clinical approach to human physiology.  The course emphasizes the physiology and pathophysiology of the cellular, integumentary, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.  Function and tissue mechanics of each system are presented, with specific emphasis on changes across the lifespan and adaptations to activity/exercise and disease.  A brief systems review of the renal, endocrine, and immune systems focus the student on physiologic processes relevant to physical therapy practice. Students apply this foundational knowledge about human function to future course work and patients, enabling students to make quantitative and qualitative observations and decisions regarding patient presentations and clinical management.

Prerequisite(s): None

DPT 6160 Human Anatomy I   -   3-1-0-4

This course is the first of a two-course series provides the physical therapy student with foundational knowledge of human gross anatomy. Instruction includes focused clinical application of human embryology, histology, and functional anatomy to consider patient problems relevant to the physical therapist. Key emphasis is on a detailed study of the musculoskeletal and peripheral nervous system of the lumbar spine, pelvis and lower limb, to include associated osseous and vascular structures. This course consists of lecture related to the static and dynamic application of applied anatomy along with heavy use of 3-dimensional anatomy software, medical imaging, living/surface anatomy, and anatomical prosections in lab sessions for hands on application and learning.

Prerequisite(s): None

 

QUARTER TWO

DPT 6210 Musculoskeletal Practice I - Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Region   -   3-2-0-5

This is the first course in a four course series introducing students to the clinical application of human biomechanics, kinesiology, and evidence-based practice in the management of patients with lumbo-pelvic and hip conditions. Students concentrate on the application of psychomotor skills related to regional palpation, examination, and evidence-based interventions emphasizing patient education, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercise. Instruction on differential diagnosis and determining primary and secondary hypotheses is completed. Foundational elements of patient management are emphasized that use patient presentation and clinical evidence to classify patients, establish prognosis and functional goals, and develop comprehensive intervention programs related to the lumbo-pelvic and hip regions. A patient-centered approach to health and disease is presented to help students recognize conditions both at risk for advanced chronicity and outside the scope of physical therapy.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6110, DPT 6130, DPT 6160

DPT 6220 Musculoskeletal Practice II - Knee-Ankle-Foot Region   -   3-2-0-5

This is the second course in a four-course series introducing students to the clinical application of human biomechanics, kinesiology, and evidence-based practice in the management of patients with knee, lower leg, and foot/ankle conditions. Students advance the application of psychomotor skills related to palpation, examination, and evidence-based interventions emphasizing patient education, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercise. Instruction on differential diagnosis and determining primary and secondary hypotheses is directed. Foundational elements of patient management are emphasized that use patient presentation and clinical evidence to classify patients, establish prognosis and functional goals, and develop comprehensive intervention programs related to the lower extremity. A patient-centered approach to health and disease is presented to help students recognize conditions both at risk for advanced chronicity and outside the scope of physical therapy.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6210

DPT 6230 Evidence-based Practice II   -   2-0-0-2

This course introduces the specific elements of applied research design. The student becomes familiar with relevant research statistics to become intelligent consumers of scientific literature. Items related to measurement, research design, statistical analysis, critical inquiry, and strength of evidence are presented. These concepts are applied in the critical evaluation of published neuromuscular and musculoskeletal literature. This course provides additional framework for subsequent courses in which scientific foundations of physical therapy practice are presented.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6140

DPT 6240 Human Anatomy II   -   2-1-0-3

The second of a two-course series provides foundational knowledge of human gross human anatomy to the physical therapy student. Instruction continues to focus on the clinical application of functional anatomy to consider patient problems relevant to the physical therapist. Key emphasis is on a detailed study of the musculoskeletal and peripheral nervous system of the cervical and thoracic spines, thorax, shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm and hand, to include associated osseous and vascular structures. A discussion of facial and temporomandibular joint structures is also covered. This course consists of lecture related to the static and dynamic application of applied anatomy along with heavy use of 3-dimensional anatomy software, medical imaging, living/surface anatomy, and anatomical prosections in lab sessions for hands on application and learning.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6160

DPT 6250 Applied Biomechanics & Therapeutic Exercise   -   2-1-0-3

This course provides an overview of musculoskeletal biomechanical principles as applied to joint form and function, movement analysis and therapeutic interventions.  Students are introduced to a variety of therapeutic interventions, to include exercise, manual therapy and soft tissue mobilization.  Students learn the fundamentals of treatment planning based on tissue healing, functional abilities, and patient goals and behaviors.  Strategies to effectively teach, progress and motivate patients are discussed to improve patient performance and compliance with treatment programs.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6110

 

QUARTER THREE

DPT 6310 Musculoskeletal Practice III - Cervical-Thoracic Region   -   3-2-0-5

This is the third course in a four-course series introducing students to the clinical application of human biomechanics, kinesiology, and evidence-based practice in the management of patients with cervical-thoracic or temporomandibular joint conditions. Students concentrate on the application of psychomotor skills related to regional palpation, examination, and evidence-based interventions emphasizing patient education, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercise. Instruction on differential diagnosis and determining primary and secondary hypotheses is completed. Foundational elements of patient management are emphasized that use patient presentation and clinical evidence to classify patients, establish prognosis and functional goals, and develop comprehensive intervention programs related to the cervical and thoracic spine regions. A patient-centered approach to health and disease is presented to help students recognize conditions both at risk for advanced chronicity and outside the scope of physical therapy

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6220

DPT 6320 Musculoskeletal Practice IV - Shoulder-Elbow-Wrist-Hand Region   -   3-2-0-5

This is the final course in a four-course series introducing students to the clinical application of human biomechanics, kinesiology, and evidence-based practice in the management of patients with upper extremity conditions. Students concentrate on the application of psychomotor skills related to regional palpation, examination, and evidence-based interventions emphasizing patient education, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercise. Instruction on differential diagnosis and determining primary and secondary hypotheses is completed. Foundational elements of patient management are emphasized that use patient presentation and clinical evidence to classify patients, establish prognosis and functional goals, and develop comprehensive intervention programs related to the upper extremity. A patient-centered approach to health and disease is presented to help students recognize conditions both at risk for advanced chronicity and outside the scope of physical therapy.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6310

DPT 6330 Health Promotion & Fitness Management I   -   2-1-0-3

The first of a two course series provides the physical therapy student with an overview of the concepts of prevention, health promotion, health education, public and occupational health, lifestyle, behavior, fitness, and wellness.  Using a biopsychosocial framework, students investigate different health beliefs and behaviors and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and the health care system.  Primary prevention topics are introduced via the four APTA Preferred Practice Patterns using the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice. Students explore the components and delivery of various health promotion programs and the evidence regarding their effectiveness.  Lab hours are performed as experiential learning activities that promote and assess health, wellness and fitness in home, community, and industrial settings.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6250

DPT 6340 Modern Patient Management   -   3-0-0-3

This comprehensive course emphasizes behavioral and social sciences applied to the analysis and management of human behavior. The course is tailored specifically to the work of a physical therapist, where professional interactions with people, including patients, support personnel, supervisors, third party payers, and other medical professionals, is a large part of the position. Special focus is given to “mindful practice,” so students develop the ability to be aware, in the moment, and on purpose, with the goal of providing better care to patients and to taking better care of themselves. Motivational interviewing and its importance in physical therapist practice are highlighted. The integration of positive psychology and empathetic caring into the patient care setting is also emphasized. Students work with simulated patients to practice, self-assess, and self-reflect on their own interviewing skills.

Prerequisite(s): None

 

QUARTER FOUR

DPT 6410 Management of the Aging Adult   -   4-1-0-5

This course introduces students to the physiologic changes of aging as well as the sociologic and economic consequences of an aging population.  Significant time is dedicated to the natural aging process and how complicating factors such as malnutrition, pain, infection, vascular compromise, obesity, diabetes, and HIV negatively impact the aging adult. Emphasis is placed on the positive and negative effects of lifestyle on preventing or accelerating decline, and the physical therapist’s role in this progression. This course provides a review of health and wellness practices specific to the older adult that was presented in previous courses.  Students learn to evaluate, treat, and manage older patients with complex medical conditions and patients with multi-system involvement. Topics range from degenerative processes, metabolic changes, osteoporosis, genitourinary conditions, endocrine dysfunction, cancer, and end of life discussion. Management of patients with wounds, burns, and insensate regions is presented. Lab activities include case simulation for patients with various arterial, venous, and diabetic wounds, including prevention and therapeutic interventions. In addition, positioning, transfers, mobility training, and additional inpatient and outpatient therapeutic interventions are discussed.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6150, DPT 6320

DPT 6420 Integrative Pain Sciences   -   2-1-0-3

This course provides an overview of managing patients with chronic pain syndromes and associated psychosocial factors. General concepts related to chronic pain, fear avoidance models, peripheral sensitization and central sensitization as it applies to physical therapy practice are covered. Emphasis is placed on patient education and describing clinical methods of educating patients about pain. Additional clinical application is presented in the form of pain assessment, treatment, outcomes, and limitations of treating chronic pain conditions. Current best practice techniques and research are integrated to provide discussion of the multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary nature of chronic pain.

Prerequisite(s): None

DPT 6430 Cardiopulmonary Practice   -   2-1-0-3

This course focuses on strategies used by physical therapists in the prevention and management of cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. Basic principles of care in respiratory therapy, chest physical therapy to include thoracic spine and ribcage manual therapy techniques, electrocardiography, cardiac rehabilitation, health screening, and exercise testing are included. The impact of cardiopulmonary conditions on physical therapy management of patients with other diagnoses is also presented. Students are introduced to the principles of exercise prescription and American College of Sports Medicine exercise guidelines for wellness and disease prevention. Lab activities include, but are not limited to, EKG stress testing, heart and lung auscultation, and pulmonary function testing.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6150

DPT 6440 Healthcare Delivery Models, Practice Management & Entrepreneurship   -   3-0-0-3

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of practice management. Students gain knowledge of health care management and leadership, strategic planning, human resources, finance, legal and ethical issues, organizational structures and fiscal management as they relate to physical therapy practice. The course provides instruction for effective team leadership techniques to prepare graduates for leadership roles early in their career. Students are exposed to the highest caliber of business training and practical applications (Executive MBA-style format) to help graduates build a strategic, competitive advantage in the marketplace. Students learn the initial building blocks necessary to build a thriving private practice or run a hospital department. Students are exposed to a vast community of evidence-based practitioners, business owners, and hospital administrators (both as instructors and colleagues) who represent the best business practices in the physical therapy industry. Students are also exposed to the broader aspects of the U.S. health care system; the organization, financing, and delivery of services in both for profit and not-for-profit settings. Discussion includes key management and policy issues in contemporary health systems and a discussion of public policy and its impact on the provision of rehabilitative services.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6130

DPT 6450 Advanced Movement Analysis   -   2-1-0-3

This course builds on the foundational sciences of anatomy, biomechanics, and kinesiology, along with the patient management series.  This course takes students through advanced movement analysis with a particular focus on the application of emerging clinically applicable movement technology in the area of lower extremity disorders including amputation.  Functional and surgical anatomy of lower limb amputations and conditions requiring lower quarter orthotic intervention are presented.  Patients requiring external support and care related to underlying conditions and comorbidities include management of residual limb, prosthetics, and orthotics. Lab activities emphasize a review of locomotion gait analysis, motion analysis technology, residual limb management, prosthetics, and amputee rehabilitation.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6250

 

QUARTER FIVE

DPT 6510 Clinical Neuroscience   -   3-1-0-4

This course presents an in-depth analysis of neural, muscular, and skeletal factors that influence pain and movement in health and disease. Students study the basic science and organization of the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems with a functional emphasis. Normal peripheral and central nervous system function and the pathophysiology of various neurological disorders are presented. Neural control of movement and functional force development is discussed in detail with emphasis on muscle activation in health and disease. The application of motor control and motor learning principles is also presented and applied to the examination and management of patients with movement disorders. Lab activities emphasize a review of clinical neuroanatomy, locomotion gait analysis, an introduction of balance assessment tools, and central nervous system screening.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6150, DPT 6160, DPT 6240

DPT 6520 Health Promotion & Fitness Management II   -   2-1-0-3

The course is the second of a two-course series presenting advanced concepts of exercise and fitness as they relate to injury prevention, fitness testing, and exercise prescription.  Students investigate the epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries and identify risk factors for injury as identified in the literature. Clinical tools and procedures presented include the Functional Movement Screen; Y-Balance Screen; methods of testing strength, power, endurance, flexibility, and balance; and functional testing algorithms. Students develop injury prevention and/or exercise programs based on test results and adapt the execution to specific populations to high level, recreational and aging athletes. Students are required to complete requirements for gaining the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6330

DPT 6530 Physical Therapy Practice I – CEN Foundation   -   0-0-10-10

This structured 8-week internship allows students to gain experience working with patients in the clinical setting. Learning experiences occur under the guidance of a Clinical Faculty (CF). Special emphasis is placed on foundational skills of patient management in preparation for future clinical internships. Objectives for this internship include completing the Clinical Excellence Network (CEN) Foundational Module emphasizing, but not limited to, customer service and the Four-Habits Model, primary medical screening, the medical interview, upper/lower quarter screens, and central/peripheral nervous system screens. Students gain confidence with all aspects of the patient encounter and begin to form primary and competing hypotheses or physical therapy diagnoses. Measuring and interpreting functional outcomes of patients will also be instructed. Students’ ability to perform in the clinical setting as a medical professional is assessed by the CF through CEN evaluative tools, functional patient outcomes, and evaluative tools such as the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT CPI).

Prerequisite(s): All courses through Quarter Four

 

QUARTER SIX

DPT 6610 Neuromuscular Practice I - Adult   -   3-2-0-5

This course presents the physical therapy examination and management of movement disorders and neurological conditions stemming from central nervous system pathology. These conditions include, but are not limited to to, spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebrovascular accident, and neuro-degenerative conditions. Students apply the elements of patient management in physical therapy practice, including screening, examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, plan of care, intervention, and outcomes across the adult lifespan. A wide variety of lab experiences present and develop examination and rehabilitation skills unique to patients with neuromuscular conditions.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6510

DPT 6620 Management of the Pediatric Patient   -   2-1-0-3

This course presents the application of motor control and motor learning principles to effectively manage the pediatric population. A framework of normal development and aging from birth to young adult is presented and serves as a course foundation. Students apply the elements of patient/client management in physical therapy practice, including screening, examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, plan of care, intervention, and outcomes related to the pediatric patient. Topics include developmental disorders, orthotics, prosthetics, and assistive technologies.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6510

DPT 6630 Professional Competencies II   -   2-0-0-2

The final course in a two-part series that covers special issues in physical therapy related to modern patient management and the impact of diversity issues on health care practice. This course prepares the student professionally and emotionally for clinical practice, as well as his/her role as a lifelong learner and educator in the physical therapy profession. Course content includes, but is not limited to, principles of medical ethics, legal issues in physical therapy, risk management strategies, and issues of liability, harassment, and discrimination, HIPAA and patient confidentiality, and health care regulations (Medicare, JCAHO, CARF, etc.).  The course also prepares the student for the eventual job search as a doctor of physical therapy, to include job search strategies, cover letter and resume writing, and interviewing skills.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6130, DPT 6340

DPT 6640 Advanced Therapeutic Interventions   -   1-2-0-3

This course will provide students with advanced clinical reasoning and intervention skills for the management of patients with musculoskeletal dysfunction.  Manual therapy and therapeutic exercise skills learned in regional musculoskeletal courses are honed and expanded upon with the integration advanced spinal manipulation and therapeutic exercise techniques.  Students also learn basic trigger point dry needling skills for the treatment of soft tissue dysfunction.  An emphasis is placed on clinical reasoning and decision-making to safely and effectively integrate these advanced interventions into patient treatment plans. This course also includes multiple case scenarios and a heavy lab component to develop and/or refine the use of these advanced interventions.  Assignments using advanced web based exercise prescription technology are used to enhance patient education and adherence to home exercise programs.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6250, DPT 6530

DPT 6650 Pharmacology   -   2-0-0-2

This course provides students with a general understanding of pharmacologic principles, common pathological processes and their impact on patient management in physical therapy across the lifespan. The impact of prescribed and over the counter drugs on patient presentation, timing of rehabilitation sessions, and the outcome of physical therapy interventions is presented. Content on pharmacodynamics includes specific indications for use, mode of action, safety profile, and rehabilitation considerations of common medications. The body systems and conditions covered include cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, urogenital, rheumatologic, and integumentary.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6150

 

QUARTER SEVEN

DPT 6710 Advanced Diagnostics   -   2-0-0-2

This course presents a comprehensive review of advanced techniques and applications of diagnostic tests and imaging in the major systems and joints of the body related to physical therapy practice. The basic fundamentals of imaging, as well as the more sophisticated techniques and their diagnostic utility are presented in this course. Specific content reviews diagnostic ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, nuclear medicine, and radiographs. Content is also presented on general medical diagnostic tests and how to interpret laboratory studies. Specific strategies are presented to solve common clinical questions to help the student determine if a diagnostic test adds value to the history and examination as a direct access provider of physical therapy.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6160, DPT 6240

DPT 6720 Physical Therapy Practice II – CEN Internship   -   0-0-15-15

This 12-week internship builds upon the knowledge and skills obtained during the first CEN clinical experience (DPT 6520) to advance evidence-based patient management and clinical reasoning skills and exhibit characteristics of an adult learner and medical professional. Direct patient care experiences under the guidance of a CEN Clinical Faculty (CF) in a collaborative learning environment includes patient and family education, case presentations, staff in-services, community outreach and all aspects of the patient management model appropriate to the setting. Structured learning experiences and frequent problem based assignments as part of the CEN curriculum compliment focused lab time and learning opportunities aside from patient care in the clinical setting. Students continue membership in the APTA and increase involvement at the state chapter and national level. The student is able to demonstrate entry-level performance by the conclusion of this internship experience as evaluated by the CF through CEN evaluation tools, functional patient outcomes, and evaluative tools such as the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT CPI).

Prerequisite(s): All courses through Quarter Six

 

QUARTER EIGHT

DPT 6810 Primary Care Physical Therapy   -   2-0-0-2

This course presents applications for common pathological processes and their impact on patient management in physical therapy across the lifespan. Evidence-based practice is linked with the risk factors, clinical manifestations and pathogenesis of disease in the context of their impact on patient management. A comprehensive look at body systems and medical tests associated with the diagnosis of these conditions and common medical treatments including medications are also presented. A special emphasis is placed on primary and secondary prevention principles associated with common conditions including appropriate lifestyle and behavioral modifications. This course also provides clinical application for the diagnostic utility of tests such as sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and predictive values. Diagnostic imaging and pharmacology principles are covered and then applied to this evidence-based framework.

Prerequisite(s): DPT 6150, DPT 6410

DPT 6820 Physical Therapy Practice III – CEN Internship   -   0-0-14-14

This 11-week internship builds upon the knowledge and skills obtained during the first two CEN clinical experiences (DPT 6520 and DPT 6720) to advance evidence-based patient management and clinical reasoning skills and exhibit characteristics of an adult learner and medical professional. Direct patient care experiences under the guidance of a CEN Clinical Faculty (CF) in a collaborative learning environment includes patient and family education, case presentations, staff in-services, community outreach and all aspects of the patient management model appropriate to the setting. Structured learning experiences and frequent problem based assignments as part of the CEN curriculum compliment focused lab time and learning opportunities aside from patient care in the clinical setting. Students continue membership in the APTA and increase involvement at the state chapter and national level. The student is able to demonstrate entry-level performance by the conclusion of this internship experience as evaluated by the CF through CEN evaluation tools, functional patient outcomes, and evaluative tools such as the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT CPI).

Prerequisite(s): All courses through Quarter Seven

DPT 6830 Capstone Presentation and Examination   -   3-0-0-3

The final course in the curriculum requires the student to integrate and apply previous didactic knowledge, clinical internship experiences, and evidence-based practice principles. Students use clinical internship experiences to prepare patient case reports for professional presentation and discussion.  Students complete case reports in written manuscript, scientific poster, and PowerPoint presentation formats.  Students also complete a National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) Prep Course as part of this course and are required to pass a simulated NPTE board examination to validate comprehension of material in preparation for the national licensure exam.

Prerequisite(s): All courses through Quarter Seven