Course Information

for Physical Therapy Department


Clinical Pathophysiology (BIOL722)

Credits:4

This course reviews the principles of human physiology and examines the pathologic processes that alter the human body’s lines of defense and resistance to disease. The course provides the student with an understanding of structural adaptations and functional responses of cells, tissues, organs, and systems. The student relates clinical manifestations of pathophysiologic changes to the practice of physical therapy.

Cultural, Ethical, and Psychosocial Aspects of Healthcare (HTSC745)

Credits:3

This course emphasizes the biopsychosocial/spiritual approach to health care and wellness by developing the physical therapist's understanding of psychosocial considerations and cultural competence. It entails the use of a systems perspective that values differences and is responsive to diversity at all levels of an organization, i.e., policy, governance, administrative, workforce, provider, and consumer/client. Physical therapy students learn to promote and support the attitudes, behaviors, knowledge, and skills necessary to work respectfully and effectively with patients and each other in a culturally diverse work environment. Students use demographics, cultural, epidemiological and clinical outcome data for racial and ethnic groups in the service area, and become informed about the ethnic/cultural needs, resources, and assets of the surrounding community. Psychosocial conditions, with an emphasis on the ways that mental health across the lifespan impacts physical health, are examined.

Professional Foundations I: Introduction to Physical Therapy (PHTH702)

Credits:3

As the first in a series of three courses, this course introduces the profession of physical therapy, the roles of professionals who practice physical therapy, and the numerous factors that shape and influence the profession, including societal, governmental, legal, organizational, and financial. Students use the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice (3.0), other core documents of the profession, evidence-based documents, and clinical reasoning models to consider professional issues. Students will be introduced to the mission, vision, philosophy, expected outcomes, and policies/procedures of the PT program at ADU. Students will investigate the components and assessment of professional behavior as well as topics related to common and emerging practice settings. Principles of evidence-based practice, including formulation of clinical questions and the identification of appropriate information sources, are incorporated in order to assess the scientific support for, and to direct decision-making in, the practice of physical therapy.

Applied Human Physiology (PHTH705)

Credits:4

This course provides the physiological mechanisms of human body function and physiological integration from the cellular to the system level to maintain homeostasis and support human movement. Through the use of clinical correlates, students begin to develop problem-solving skills. This knowledge allows students to form an understanding of how the healthy body functions and the implications for the practice of physical therapy.

Gross Anatomy (PHTH709C)

Credits:6

This course examines gross human anatomical structure and function with emphasis on the musculoskeletal, circulatory, and peripheral nervous systems. Laboratory includes cadaver dissection, pro-sected material, microscopic examination of histological characteristics, and paper and anatomical models to facilitate the integration of knowledge of the body systems into concepts of physical therapy practice. Clinical correlation is also emphasized through the use of case studies. Diagnostic images are introduced for selected anatomical regions.

Patient/Client Management I: Basic Skills (PHTH710C)

Credits:4

This course, as the first in a series of four courses, examines the basic patient care skills necessary to practice as a physical therapist. These frequently used skills, and the tests and measures necessary to substantiate them, are learned in lecture and practiced in the laboratory setting. These skills include patient preparation, aseptic technique, wheelchair set-up and mobility, turning and positioning, basic transfer and gait training techniques, and basic massage and soft tissue techniques. The selection and administration of the proper tests and measures that assess arousal, attention, cognition, anthropometric characteristics, vital signs, and assistive and adaptive devices are learned and practiced.

Patient/Client Management II: Examination and Evaluation (PHTH714C)

Credits:4

This course, as the first of two courses in this series, provides students with the knowledge and skills to select and perform general patient examination tests and measures frequently used by physical therapists including but not limited to: the patient interview, measurement of range of motion, measurement of muscle length, and manual muscle testing. The psychometric properties of each of these tests and measures are examined and the clinical reasoning skills necessary to perform the evaluation portion of the patient/client management model are practiced.

Patient/Client Management III: Therapeutic Exercise (PHTH718C)

Credits:5

This course presents the theory, scientific principles, and evidence for the use of various types of exercise employed by physical therapists for the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of optimal health and physical function across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on basic exercise techniques related to muscle performance (including strength, power, and endurance) and stretching/flexibility activities. Previously introduced principles of tissue injury and repair are applied to therapeutic exercise interventions and progression. Evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning are emphasized throughout and practiced with clinical scenarios in the laboratory.

Clinical Kinesiology (PHTH720C)

Credits:3

This course involves the comprehensive study of the kinematics and kinetics of the human body, postural control and the basics of gait analysis. Foundational knowledge of basic anatomy is applied in lecture and the laboratory with emphasis on biomechanics, mechanical properties of biological tissue, joint structure and function, muscle and boney palpation, and introduction to gait. Students perform analysis of normal and abnormal movement and alignment of the spine and extremities.

Clinical Pathophysiology (PHTH722)

Credits:4

This course reviews the principles of human physiology and examines the pathologic processes that alter the human bodys lines of defense and resistance to disease. The course provides the student with an understanding of structural adaptations and functional responses of cells, tissues, organs, and systems. The student relates clinical manifestations of pathophysiologic changes to the practice of physical therapy.

Neuroscience I (PHTH730C)

Credits:4

This course examines human neuroanatomy with an emphasis on the central (CNS) and peripheral (PNS) nervous systems and the basic functions therein. This course reviews neurophysiology of the CNS, PNS, and autonomic nervous system, and examines the basic principles of neuroembryology and neuroplasticity. The laboratory component emphasizes anatomical study of the brain and spinal cord and the functions of the cranial nerves, tracks, and nuclei of major systems.

Neuroscience II (PHTH732C)

Credits:3

This course is a continuation of PHTH 730 Neuroscience I. This course examines neurological function, specifically motor control, motor learning, and cognition, and furthers the understanding of the anatomy and physiology of sensation and perception by the sensory system. A focused examination of the theories, mechanisms, assessment, and management of pain is presented and practiced.

Cultural, Ethical, and Psychosocial Aspects of Healthcare (PHTH745)

Credits:3

This course emphasizes the biopsychosocial/spiritual approach to health care and wellness by developing the physical therapist’s understanding of psychosocial considerations and cultural competence. It entails the use of a systems perspective that values differences and is responsive to diversity at all levels of an organization, i.e., policy, governance, administrative, workforce, provider, and consumer/client. Physical therapy students learn to promote and support the attitudes, behaviors, knowledge, and skills necessary to work respectfully and effectively with patients and each other in a culturally diverse work environment. Students use demographics, cultural, epidemiological and clinical outcome data for racial and ethnic groups in the service area, and become informed about the ethnic/cultural needs, resources, and assets of the surrounding community. Psychosocial conditions, with an emphasis on the ways that mental health across the lifespan impacts physical health, are examined.

Research I: Methods (PHTH791)

Credits:2

This course provides students with an overview of quantitative and qualitative research processes. Students explore principles of scientific research, research design, measurement characteristics, applied statistics, data collection, sampling, and general categories of data analyses through critical examination of published studies. Students complete the CITI modules in preparation for the IRB process. Principles of evidence-based practice, including formulation of clinical questions and the identification of appropriate information sources, are incorporated in order to assess the scientific support for, and to direct decision-making in, the practice of physical therapy. This course culminates with faculty-facilitated selection of a research project, either individually or in small student groups.

Research II: Literature Review/Background and Significance (PHTH793)

Credits:1

Based on projects selected in Research I, students begin the process of research design. This includes a critical review of the literature, identification of research methods, instrumentation, and study designs appropriate for, and applied to the selected research question. Submit the required research proposal to the Scientific Review Committee and Institutional Review Board for approval as necessary.

Professional Foundations II: Communication (PHTH800)

Credits:3

This course introduces the principles and dynamics of professional oral and written communication. These are applied to communication necessary for the practice of physical therapy, including teaching and learning, documentation, and billing. Legal and ethical considerations of communication with appropriate stakeholders (patients, families, supportive personnel, payers, and other health professionals) are addressed.

Professional Foundations III: Management and Leadership (PHTH804)

Credits:3

This course prepares the student to manage physical therapy practice in a contemporary environment. Theories and principles of leadership and management are utilized to guide and evaluate the practice of physical therapy services. Topics addressed include: organizational behavior, human resource management, financial planning, budgeting, elements of payment for services, quality improvement, risk management, and marketing strategies. This course examines the legislative process, liability issues, and legal structure of organizations affecting the practice of physical therapy in the U.S.

Professional Foundations IV: Transition to Practice (PHTH806)

Credits:1

This course integrates content from the previous courses in this series with classroom and clinical education experiences to facilitate the students' transition to clinical practice. With faculty guidance, students evaluate requirements for licensure and practice in their preferred clinical environments. Students will reflect upon previous learning and develop personalized professional development plans.

Patient/Client Management IV: Biophysical Agents (PHTH810C)

Credits:3

This course presents the fundamental principles, physiological effects, indications and contraindications, application techniques, and clinical reasoning regarding use of biophysical agents. Biophysical agents included are: NMES, FES, TENS, biofeedback, electrotherapy for tissue healing, iontophoresis thermotherapy, cryotherapy, ultrasound, hydrotherapy, mechanical traction, and compression. Manual modalities including instrument-assisted soft tissue techniques, myofascial and trigger point release are also introduced. Principles of electrophysiological examination and assessment are included. Discussion and laboratory activities allow the demonstration and application of the fundamental clinical reasoning, clinical thinking and intervention skills for application of biophysical agents.

Screening for Medical Disorders (PHTH814C)

Credits:3

This course explores the physical therapists role as an interdependent practitioner working within a collaborative medical model. Students learn to recognize clinical manifestations that suggest that physician contact or referral is warranted regarding a clients health status. The course presents the clinical tools and decision-making processes necessary to efficiently and effectively collect and evaluate patient examination data. This course provides an overview of diagnostic imaging as it relates to the practice of physical therapy. Students review images and describe normal and abnormal findings, to enhance understanding of strengths and limitations of various imaging modalities, pathological processes, interpretation of clinical examination findings, and development of safe and effective patient plans of care. Cases are presented to facilitate making appropriate patient referrals for imaging modalities (plain film radiography, MRI, CT Scan, and Bone scan) for commonly seen populations. Students analyze case scenarios to develop logical and effective clinical pathways.

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary (PHTH818C)

Credits:3

This course examines basic cardiac, vascular, and pulmonary pathologies commonly encountered by the physical therapist as well as the etiology and clinical manifestations of each. Each component of physical therapy patient/client management for cardiopulmonary conditions is studied and, in the laboratory, applied, including the physical therapy examination and evaluation, the development of formal cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs, and basic electrocardiogram interpretation. Critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills are also encouraged.

Musculoskeletal I (PHTH820C)

Credits:6

This course reviews the musculoskeletal anatomy and common pathologies of the thoracolumbar spine, pelvic girdle, and lower extremities. Medical management, including pharmacological agents and radiologic/imaging studies, for selected pathologies are also discussed. An overview of medical screening and differential diagnosis appropriate for each selected region is provided. Emphasis is on the application and integration of evidence-based physical therapy practice for the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcome measurements for these pathologies in both the lecture and laboratory settings. Both normal and pathological aspects of gait are addressed, progressing to the development and management of the treatment plan to address movement system impairments. Examination and intervention techniques are practiced in the laboratory and applied to instructor-selected case studies and simulated patients. Critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills are also encouraged.

Musculoskeletal II (PHTH822C)

Credits:4

This course reviews the musculoskeletal anatomy and common pathologies of the cervical spine, TMJ, and upper extremities. Medical management, including pharmacological agents and imaging studies, for selected pathologies are discussed. An overview of medical screening and differential diagnosis appropriate for each selected region is provided. Emphasis is on the application and integration of evidence-based physical therapy practice for the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcome measures for these pathologies in both the lecture and laboratory settings. Examination and intervention techniques are practiced in the laboratory and applied to instructor-selected case studies and simulated patients. Critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills are integrated in case scenarios.

Pharmacology (PHTH823)

Credits:1

This course introduces contemporary pharmacology, including an overview of basic pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles with special emphasis on the influence of medications on function and rehabilitation. The physical therapists role in recognition of adverse effects or interactions of pharmacological substances is emphasized.

Neuromuscular I (PHTH830C)

Credits:4

This course examines the principles and application of the physical therapy patient/client management model to common neuromuscular diagnoses across the lifespan. Evidence-based examination, evaluation, diagnostic, prognostic, and intervention techniques are presented and practiced in the laboratory. Population-specific tests, measures, and outcomes are performed and practiced. Critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills are developed and applied in instructor-selected case studies and patients. An overview of the current theories of CNS development, dysfunction, recovery, and aging are reviewed and applied.

Neuromuscular II (PHTH832C)

Credits:0

This course further examines the principles and application of the physical therapy patient/client management model to common neuromuscular diagnoses and builds on content introduced in Neuromuscular I. Additional topics include current research on brain function, motor development, and specific theoretical models of neurorehabilitation (e.g., motor control and motor learning), as well as the application of these within clinical settings. Practical application of examination, evaluation, and intervention techniques, as well as problem-solving situations for individuals across the lifespan are provided in the laboratory sections and case studies to further illustrate clinical relevance.

Integumentary (PHTH840C)

Credits:2

This course provides an overview of physical therapy examination and management of the integumentary system including integumentary system pathology, tissue inflammation and repair. Examination techniques, documentation, clinical decision making, and interventions, including wound dressings, physical agents, and other modalities, are practiced in laboratory. Critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills are applied in case scenarios.

Geriatrics (PHTH844)

Credits:2

This course emphasizes physical therapy services to older adults focusing on concerns specific to this specialized population. Common disorders, conditions, and/or limitations of function that are associated with aging are addressed. Modification of selected aspects of medical management, including pharmacological agents and imaging studies for older adults are discussed. The application and integration of evidence-based physical therapy practice for the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcome measures for use with older adults are discussed in the lecture and demonstrated and practiced in the laboratory. Effective communication strategies and collaboration with patient/clients, family members and care givers are emphasized to optimize person-centered care for this patient population. Students design a community-based project intended to contribute to improved health for older adults.

Pediatrics (PHTH848C)

Credits:3

This course emphasizes the provision of physical therapy services to children and young adults, focusing on concerns specific to these specialized populations. Common disorders, conditions, and/or syndromes that impact typical growth/development in the pediatric population are addressed. Modification of selected aspects of medical management, including pharmacological agents and imaging studies, for children and young adults are discussed. The application and integration of evidence-based physical therapy practice for the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcome measures are discussed in the lecture and demonstrated and practiced in the laboratory. The laboratory sessions also provide experiences with typical children to develop a solid foundation in normal development. This course encourages critical thinking skills and clinical decision-making throughout the patient/client management process. Effective communication strategies, fiduciary responsibilities, and collaboration with patient/clients, family members and caregivers are emphasized to optimize person-centered care.

Integrated Clinical Cases (PHTH850)

Credits:2

The first in a series of two courses designed to integrate patient/client body systems, age groups, cultural characteristics, settings, and physical therapist roles using a case-based approach. Cases present students with increasingly complex scenarios requiring critical thinking and clinical decision making. A variety of approaches, including but not limited to group discussion, patient/client demonstrations, panel presentations, and role playing are used to ensure realistic scenarios for problem solving. 2-0-0-2

Integrated Clinical Cases II (PHTH854)

Credits:0

The second in a series of two courses designed to integrate patient/client body systems, age groups, cultural characteristics, settings, and physical therapist roles using a case-based approach. Cases present students with increasingly complex scenarios requiring critical thinking and clinical decision making. A variety of approaches, including but not limited to group discussion, patient/client demonstrations, panel presentations, and role playing are used to ensure realistic scenarios for problem solving. Additionally, in this course, scenarios require students to consider roles of the therapist, appropriate delegation or referral to other team members, and variables in the healthcare system to problem solve.

Orthotics and Prosthetics (PHTH858C)

Credits:2

This course studies the principles and basic clinical skills needed to competently manage the examination, evaluation, and treatment of patients with orthotic or prosthetic needs. Concepts of lower extremity amputee management addressed in this course include an understanding of the biomechanics involved in lower extremity prosthetics and the subsequent effect on gait. This course covers spinal, upper extremity and lower extremity orthotic management. Evidence regarding the use of orthotics in the patient/client management of common diseases/disorders, either prophylactically or as a treatment intervention, is emphasized. The laboratory sessions provide students with opportunities to apply examination and treatment techniques used in the management of clients with a prosthesis or orthotic.

Selected Topics (PHTH860C)

Credits:3

This course provides the opportunity to pursue knowledge in selected topics related to current trends in a variety of physical therapy settings, including alternative and complementary practices, as presented by faculty and guest lecturers. Topics include, but not limited to, oncology, pelvic health, and advanced manual techniques.

Health Promotion, Fitness and Wellness (PHTH865C)

Credits:3

This course provides fundamental concepts of health, wellness, screening for risk, and the theoretical bases underlying behavior change. These concepts are applied to improving health and wellness in oneself, individual patient/client settings, and targeted populations/communities. The role of diet, nutrition, and exercise as medicine as it relates to fitness are emphasized. Students learn to assess the needs of a community, develop and assess health promotion, wellness, or prevention programs targeting adults at risk for disease development or injury, as well as targeting populations with special needs.

Clinical Experience I (PHTH870)

Credits:2

This course is the first of five full-time physical therapist-supervised clinical education experiences that expect the student to practice didactic and clinical skills with an emphasis on patient/client management, professional behaviors, and physical therapy practice patterns. This course is four weeks in duration. All students must complete an acute care and an outpatient clinical experience prior to graduation. The aggregate of clinical experiences must represent a variety of settings with patients/clients across the lifespan.

Clinical Experience II (PHTH872)

Credits:3

This course is the second of four full-time physical therapist-supervised clinical education experiences that expect the student to practice didactic and clinical skills with an emphasis on patient/client management, professional behaviors, and physical therapy practice patterns. This course is six weeks in duration. All students must complete an acute care and an outpatient clinical experience prior to graduation. The aggregate of clinical experiences must represent a variety of settings with patients/clients across the lifespan.

Clinical Experience III (PHTH874)

Credits:6

This course is the third of five full-time physical therapist-supervised clinical education experiences designed to allow the student to practice didactic and clinical skills with an emphasis on patient/client management, professional behaviors, and physical therapy practice patterns in a variety of physical therapy practice settings. This course is ten weeks in duration with a minimum of 40 hours per week.

Clinical Experience IV (PHTH876)

Credits:7

This course is the fourth of five full-time physical therapist-supervised clinical education experiences that expect the student to practice didactic and clinical skills with an emphasis on patient/client management, professional behaviors, and physical therapy practice patterns. This course is fourteen weeks in duration. All students must complete an acute care and an outpatient clinical experience prior to graduation. The aggregate of clinical experiences must represent a variety of settings with patients/clients across the lifespan.

Research III: Implementation and Interpretation (PHTH890)

Credits:2

This course advances the development and completion of the selected research project. Data collection and analysis are advanced under the direction of the research mentor, with consultation from Course Coordinator as necessary.

Research IV: Preparing for Dissemination (PHTH892)

Credits:2

This course is a culminating research experience that includes the completion of a research project in a format suitable for dissemination in a selected peer-reviewed journal and a poster summarizing the research study and its findings.