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Doctorate of Physical Therapy Course Descriptions

PT 503/603 Human Anatomy    6 sem. hrs.

Human Anatomy is a foundational course in normal human anatomy, both gross anatomy and surface anatomy, using a regional approach. Classroom and laboratory experiences are designed to promote methods of learning that minimize memorization. Incorporation of basic biomechanical principles enhances learning by association. Emphasis is given to the neuromusculoskeletal system and is presented as consistent with physical therapy clinical practice.

PT 504/604 Foundations of Neuroscience     4 sem. hrs.

This course is designed to expand on previous science courses in order to provide a more in-depth understanding of the structure and function of the human nervous system in normal and pathological conditions. Material presented in this course provides the foundational science background for future applied courses related to physical therapy management of patients with conditions affecting the neuromuscular system. The course presents classroom and laboratory learning experiences that build from an understanding of basic nervous system functions at molecular and cellular levels to more complex functions involving whole systems. Structural changes in the nervous system are related to functional changes that occur during development, following injury, and with aging. A problem/ case study approach to learning is emphasized in order to further develop the student's critical inquiry and clinical decision-making abilities.

PT 506/606 Foundations of Pharmacology    2 sem. hrs.

This course presents the foundational concepts of pharmacology emphasizing basic mechanisms of drug action such as pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacotherapeutics. Drug classes illustrated using prototypic drugs. Examples drawn from various body systems; i.e. neuromuscular, respiratory and so forth . 

PT 511/611 Foundations of Clinical Science    4 sem. hrs.

This course introduces the student physical therapist to the process of clinical examination including problem solving and clinical decision-making as well as introduction to foundational interventions.  Using the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice the course focuses on physical therapy examination, evaluation, and basic treatment interventions as preparation for individuals with functional limitations related to movement.  The course includes an introduction to examination techniques (tests and measures) common to the evaluation process (history, upper and lower quarter screens).  Instruction also includes foundational intervention techniques and concepts such as patient communication and documentation; transfers; gait training with assistive devices; body mechanics; positioning and draping integral to examination and intervention; range of motion and manual muscle testing assessments; electrotherapeutic and heat/cold physical agents.

PT 515-1A/615-1A Biomechanics I    2 sem. hrs.

Material in this course includes 1) the basic principles of biomechanics related to stability and movement;  2) biomechanics of biologic structures and function of the musculoskeletal system, with in depth description of the structural and functional features of major joints of the human body; and 3) an introduction to human movement analysis.

PT 515-1B/615-1B Biomechanics II     2 sem. hrs.

This course interweaves content in biomechanics with application of knowledge and skill gained in human anatomy and surface palpation. This course includes: 1) analysis of movement; 2) biomechanics of the lower limb; 3) normal human gait; and 4) abnormal human gait.  The emphasis of course content is presented as relevant to physical therapy clinical practice.

PT 605 Motor Learning/Motor Control    3 sem. hrs.

This course is the second within a series of four presenting an integrated approach to therapeutic concepts applicable to entry-level neurologic physical therapy practice.  Using knowledge introduced in Foundations of Neuroscience (functional neuroanatomy; PT 604), this course is designed to develop preliminary and foundational knowledge of the principles of motor control and learning primarily as they apply to healthy individuals.  In addition, motor control will be explored briefly across development with an emphasis on reflexes and functional postures, and general motor learning principles specific to the pediatric population will be reviewed.  This foundational knowledge will form a framework for both assessment and treatment of the neurologically involved child or adult, serving as a translational course expanding on relevant aspects of neuroscience, and a preliminary to participation in PT 730, PT 731, and PT 740-01.    

PT 608 Foundations of Clinical Exercise    4 sem. hrs.

This course examines in depth the mechanisms of muscle function, the principles of therapeutic exercise, and the practical application of exercise. The basic skills of clinical interventions including range of motion, stretching and flexibility, strengthening (strength, endurance and power training), balance, agility and aerobic training will be covered in depth. This information will prepare the student to critically think about, evaluate, and implement a plan of care for paper patients involving a variety of diagnoses in the musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and neurological clinical science sequence courses. 

PT 612 Physical Therapy Management of Musculoskeletal Impairment I    3  sem. hrs.

This course is the first in a series of three courses on evaluation and treatment of general musculoskeletal conditions. All relevant physiologic, anatomic, pathologic, medical and therapeutic concepts related to general musculoskeletal conditions are integrated into this course. Information in this course includes the general physical therapy evaluation process, basic pathology, tissue injury and the healing process, and the integration of previous information covered in the curriculum. The course utilizes classroom and laboratory experiences to expose the student to simple problems in order to begin to develop the clinical reasoning skills required in entry-level practice. Emphasis is on basic evaluation technique in orthopedic and manual physical therapy and the implementation of therapeutic intervention techniques learning on other courses. This course provides the foundation for PT 613/PT614. 

PT 613 Physical Therapy Management of Musculoskeletal Impairment II    5  sem. hrs.

An integrated approach to the study of all relevant physiologic, anatomic, pathologic, medical and therapeutic concepts related to entry-level physical therapy practice. The course is a continuation to PT 612 Musculoskeletal Impairments I and includes physical therapy evaluation process, physical therapeutic intervention techniques and procedures, and patient care plan development for spinal impairments. This course builds on foundational skills in neuromusculoskeletal assessment. The course presents classroom and laboratory experiences to develop simple to complex problems to assist the student in developing the necessary clinical reasoning and clinical skills. Emphasis is on basic evaluation techniques in orthopedic and manual physical therapy with an introduction to special test diagnostic accuracy and interpretation. It provides the foundation for selection of appropriate assessment and treatment planning in orthopedics. Students learn an algorithm approach to screening, examination, and evaluation which involves a critical thinking process to establish an orthopedic impairment based physical therapy diagnosis. 

PT 614 Physical Therapy Management of Musculoskeletal Impairment III    5  sem. hrs.

An integrated approach to the study of all relevant physiologic, anatomic, pathologic, medical and therapeutic concepts related to entry-level physical therapy practice regarding the upper and lower extremity. The course is a continuation of PT 612/613 Musculoskeletal Impairments I/II and includes the physical therapy evaluation process, physical therapeutic intervention techniques and procedures, and patient care plan development. The course presents classroom and laboratory experiences building from simple to complex problems to assist the student in developing the necessary competencies in physical therapy. Emphasis is on basic evaluation techniques in orthopedic and manual physical therapy with an introduction to special test diagnosis accuracy and interpretation. It provides the foundation for selection of appropriate assessment and treatment planning in orthopedics. Students refine their approach to screening, examination, and evaluation of extremity impairments with an integration of spinal screening. This involves the critical thinking process to establish an orthopedic impairment based physical therapy diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan. 

PT 701 Professional Issues  I    1  sem. hr.

This course is an introduction to the profession of physical therapy. Distinguishing factors of a profession, including the history of the profession and responsibilities of health care professionals are covered. Students are introduced to national, state and regional professional organizations. The topics of legal and ethical considerations are also covered. Students are guided through the discovery of practice expectations and the growth of the profession over the past century. Students are also expected to participate in professional development activities. 

PT 702 Professional Issues II    1  sem. hr.

This course is designed to prepare the student physical therapists for clinical practice. Students build upon knowledge and skills gained in Professional Issues I and are introduced to the roles of various participants in clinical practice and the assessment tools utilized during clinical education. Issues related to legal and ethical clinical practice are covered.

 PT 703 Professional Experience I    4  sem. hrs.

This is the first of four clinical education experiences within the curriculum. Professional Experience I introduces the student to the general organization of a physical therapy practice that pertains to the care of individuals with musculoskeletal dysfunction within either an inpatient or outpatient setting. Under the direct guidance of a licensed physical therapist/clinical mentor, students are responsible for the examination, evaluation, diagnostic, prognostic and intervention components for patient care. The specific content will vary depending upon the learning experiences available and the perceived or declared readiness of each student. 

PT 704 Professional Experience II    4  sem. hrs.

This is the second of four clinical education experiences within the curriculum. Professional experience II provides the student the opportunity to participate in a physical therapy practice that pertains to the care of varied individuals across the lifespan. Primary emphasis is on those who experience acute or chronic neurological dysfunction and/or acute cardiopulmonary and/or integumentary dysfunctions. Professional Experience II primarily occurs in an inpatient acute, post-acute or rehabilitation settings. Some students may participate in an outpatient neurological or general medicine rotation. Under the direct guidance of a licensed physical therapist/clinical mentor, prognostic and intervention components for patient care. Students are expected to function as part of a multi-disciplinary team and to participate in practice management activities. The specific content will vary depending upon the learning experiences available and the perceived or declared readiness of each student. 

PT 705 Professional Experience III    5  sem. hrs.

This is the third of four clinical experiences within the curriculum. Professional Experience III provides the student the opportunity to participate in a physical therapy practice that pertains to the care of individuals across the lifespan, with emphasis on those who experience acute or chronic neurological, integumentary, and/or cardiopulmonary dysfunction. Professional Experience III primarily occurs in an inpatient acute, post-acute, or rehabilitation practice setting. Some students may participate in an inpatient or outpatient pediatric or a community based neurological/general medicine rotation. Under the direct guidance of a licensed physical therapist/clinical mentor, students are responsible for the examination, evaluation, diagnostic, prognostic and intervention components for patient care. Students are expected to function as part of a multi-disciplinary team, and to participate in practice management activities. The specific content will vary depending upon the learning experiences available and the perceived or declared readiness of each student. 

PT 706 Professional Experience IV    6  sem. hrs.

This is the fourth and final clinical education experience within the curriculum. Professional Experience IV is scheduled after the completion of all didactic coursework in the basic, behavioral and clinical science courses. This course provides the student the opportunity to participate in a physical therapy practice that pertains to the composite care if individuals across the lifespan, emphasizing the complexities of those who experience any of neuromusculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary or integumentary dysfunctions. Practice settings may vary based upon a student’s clinical interests. Students may also be given the opportunity to focus on an area of their own interest involving specialized patient populations (i.e. geriatrics, athletes, pediatrics), particular practice management skills, or clinical research applications. During this final experience each student will have the opportunity to function behaviorally as an entry level professional physical therapist as part of a multi-disciplinary team under the mentorship of his/her clinical instructor. The specific content may vary depending upon the learning experiences available and the perceived or declared readiness of each student, but the level of performance of all students is expected to fulfill requirements consistent with their final professional experience. Students are expected to participate in all components of the patient-client management process as available at the clinical education site. 

PT 710 Health Care Business Management I    2  sem. hrs.

The course is the first course addressing health care business management issues impacting physical therapy practice. Students are introduced to special topics related to access, cost and quality of care. Particular emphasis is on the United States Health Care delivery system, the continuum of care, reimbursement, interdisciplinary team management, direct access and autonomous practice. 

PT 711 Health Care Business Management II    2  sem. hrs.

This course introduces the student to the knowledge that supports the administration of a physical therapy practice setting. The course uses a developmental sequence beginning with the skills required to pursue a first professional position, followed by an introduction to contemporary physical therapist practice, which includes developing an appreciation for public and population health as well as physical therapy’s role in primary prevention.  Students will acquire knowledge that supports the administration of a physical therapy in a practice setting including management of personnel and resources.  Students will also develop their understanding of ethical PT practice and risk management.   

PT 712 Community Health in Physical Therapy    3  sem. hrs.

This course introduces the concept of community health care in relation to physical therapy practice. Physical therapist role in health prevention, promotion and wellness across the lifespan in community based and non-traditional settings are addressed. Students develop a community health program that meets a community need that prepares them for their role as primary health care providers. 

PT 713 Service Project    1  sem. hr.

A commitment to community service is an inherent part of the mission at Walsh University and the Division of Physical Therapy. Students provide direct community service as part of their academic experience within the physical therapy curriculum. During this course, students deliver the community program that was approved during semester 7 in conjunction with PT 712 Community Health in PT. 

PT 720 Research Methodology  I    3  sem. hrs.

This course is the first of a series of four that immerses students toward the ability to read, write, participate and understand research. Students learn a variety of research study designs.The classes will include the following types of learning experiences: lecture, small group discussion, independent and guided library research and written tests. This course helps students learn to evaluate elements of research design, to understand the hierarchy of evidence, to critically evaluate research, and introduces students to the performance and interpretation of descriptive and inferential statistics. This course involves one large project (the initiation of a systematic literature review). 

PT 721 Research Methodology  II    2  sem. hrs.

This course is the second in a series of four that immerses students toward the ability to read write, participate, and understand research. Students learn to apply research methods and biostatistics. The classes will include the following types of learning experiences: lecture, small group discussion, independent and guided library research and written tests. This course helps students learn to evaluate elements of research design, to understand the hierarchy of evidence, to critically evaluate research, and introduces students to the performance and interpretation of descriptive and inferential statistics. The course involves one large project (completion of the systematic literature review) 

PT 722 Research Methodology  III    1  sem. hr.

This course is the third in a series of four that immerses students toward the ability to critically appraisse current literature/methodology. In addtion, students will continue to work on the 2nd major research study.This course helps students learn to evaluate elements of research design, to understand the hierarchy of evidence, to critically evaluate research, and introduces students to the performance and interpretation of descriptive and inferential statistics.

PT 723 Research Methodology  IV    2  sem. hrs.

This course is the last of a series of four that immerses students toward the ability to read, write, participate, and understand research. The classes will include the following types of learning experiences: lecture, small group discussion, independent and guided library research, and written tests. The primary purpose of this class is to complete the groups’ research projects and effectively present their works on Research Seminar Day. This course is designed to improve a student's ability to present scholarly work in an effective and interesting manner. The course will discuss written, verbal, and demonstrative methods of research.

PT 730 Neuromuscular Impairments I    6  sem. hrs.

This course is the third within a series of four presenting an integrated approach to relevant physiologic, anatomic, theoretical, medical, and therapeutic concepts related to entry-level neurologic physical therapist practice in both adult and pediatric populations.   The two Physical Therapy Management of Neuromuscular Impairment courses will operate from a top-down model across the neural axis, focusing initially on central nervous system diagnoses of cortical dysfunction, injury, and recovery.  Students will gain knowledge, skills, and the capacity for the clinical reasoning necessary to complete a comprehensive neuromuscular examination and develop a comprehensive plan for intervention based on current motor control and learning theories.  Pediatric content is interwoven within the course setting the stage for PT 740-01. 

PT 731 Neuromuscular Impairments II    6  sem. hrs.

This course is the last within a series of four presenting an integrated approach to relevant physiologic, anatomic, theoretical, medical, and therapeutic concepts related to entry-level neurologic physical therapist practice in both adult and pediatric populations.  It is a direct extension of PT 730 (Physical Therapy Management of Neuromuscular Impairments I), continuing with diagnoses along the neural axis, progressing from the central nervous system and moving to more of a focus on peripheral nervous system dysfunction.  Students will continue to gain fundamental knowledge to develop the clinical reasoning and critical thinking necessary to complete a detailed neuromuscular examination and develop a comprehensive plan for intervention based on current motor control and learning theories. Pediatric content is interwoven within the course setting the stage for PT 740-01. 

PT 732 Physical Therapy Management of Multi-System Impairment    4  sem. hrs.

Many patients that physical therapists encounter often have multiple systems that are impaired that ultimately affect their functional capabilities. This course integrates the many areas that have been discussed previously in the curriculum and aims to help the student focus their management strategies in the areas of medical screening and differential diagnosis. Complex patient cases involving multi-systems will be utilized throughout the course and the student will be responsible for demonstrating sound decision making processes based on best available evidence. In essence this course will help prepare the student physical therapist for autonomous practice.

The course offers learning experiences presented using the problem/case study approach, organized around the study of body systems, with an orientation toward clinical decision-making. Concepts are cumulative throughout the system(s) and continued enrollment depends upon mastery and use of previous concepts. Students expected to apply previously learned concepts, skills, and abilities toward the resolution of problems of patients presented in this course.

 PT 734 Physical Therapy Management of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Impairments II    4  sem. hrs.

An integrated approach to the study of all relevant anatomic, physiologic, pathological, medial and therapeutic (invasive and surgical) concepts related to physical therapy practice in the area of cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine (diabetes) and integumentary impairments. The course includes commonly used physical therapy examination and therapeutic techniques and procedures, along with patient-care program development focused on the inpatient setting. Emphasis is placed on thorough review of medical history to help ensure safety during patient care.

 PT 735 Physical Therapy Management of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Impairments II    5  sem. hrs.

An integrated approach to the study of all relevant physiologic, anatomic, pathological, medial and therapeutic concepts related to physical therapy practice in the area of cardiovascular, pulmonary, integumentary, endocrine, hematology, immunology, oncology, genitourinary and gastrointestinal impairments.

The course includes the physical therapy diagnostic process, physical therapeutic techniques and procedures, and patient-care program development. The course presents classroom and laboratory experiences building from simple to complex problems to assist the student in developing the competencies necessary for practice as a generalist in physical therapy. Experiences related to physiological, social, cultural, economic, and vocational aspects of illness and disability are included. The course offers learning experiences presented using the problem/case study approach, organized around the study of body systems, with an orientation toward the system (s) and continued enrollment depends upon mastery and use of previous concepts.

 PT 736 Capstone Seminar: Clinical Decision Making    2  sem. hrs.

This course presents students with selected seminar topics that represent either areas of review prior to completion of the curriculum, or aspects of emerging physical therapy clinical practice. During this course, students complete the professional portfolio, the comprehensive examination in preparation for the NPTE exam, a professional career development plan, and an assessment of the curriculum. Students complete a self-reflection of their academic and professional abilities, including an exit interview with faculty.

 PT 740 Special Topics    1  sem. hr.

This elective course involves advanced study (beyond entry level) of selected examination and/or intervention techniques. Topics vary from semester to semester and from year to year. Students may enroll in a maximum of three topic courses over the last two years of the program. 

PT 740-01 Special Topics: Pediatrics    1  sem. hr.

This course is designed to provide an overview of general pediatric practice, including developmental parameters and legal historical perspectives. It will progress through a foundational basis for pediatric premises and proceed to overview of assessment, evaluation, and intervention approaches for specific diagnoses in the specialty practice with pediatric patients. With depth of all diagnoses will not be explored, different case studies will be used to clarify the contextual basis of evidence based practice across settings and within relevant services provision models. This class will build on the pediatric diagnoses and evaluation/intervention process covered in neurologic rehabilitation PT 730 & PT 731. 

PT 740-06 Diagnostic Imaging

This course includes the study of the common diagnostic and therapeutic imaging studies such as radiographs, CAT, MRI, and musculoskeletal imaging. Students will become aware of the indications and implications of commonly used diagnostic imaging tests as they pertain to patient/client management.

PT 742 Life Span    4  sem. hrs.

Life Span prepares students to understand the physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth and development throughout the life span. Instructional content includes child development theories and research; adulthood; geriatrics; and death and dying.  

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