Students are introduced to academic areas that inform physical therapy practice in order to begin the lifelong learning necessary for safe and effective practice. Students are introduced to WHO’s International Classification of Function, Disability, and Health (ICF), and the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice published by the American Physical Therapy Association.
PT661 Movement System Foundations I: Motion
This course will focus on movement system impairments associated with motion, namely, acute musculoskeletal injury. Content will include methods to reduce inflammation and physical stress or load to the injured tissues.
PT662 Movement System Foundations II: Force
Movement system impairments associated with increasing force production. Content will include various ways to measure muscle performance in patients who are neurologically intact. The intervention content will include methods to increase physical stress or load to increase muscle strength.
PT663 Movement System Foundations III: Energy
Movement system impairments associated with energy production, namely, deconditioning. The examination content will include determining the extent of deconditioning and the need for assistance in functional mobility and balance.
PT664 Movement System Foundations IV: Motor Control
Movement system impairments associated with disordered motor control after brain injury. The examination content will include assessment of general sensory-motor integrity, movement analyses for functional mobility tasks, and the use of standardized measures of functional capacity.
PT658a Exposure to Physical Therapy in a Health Care System
This course is a part-time Integrated Clinical Education (ICE) experience designed to expose first-year physical therapy students to current physical therapy practice in a given health care system. Students will be exposed to physical therapy practice and clinical decision making in inpatient and outpatient settings. Assignments related to clinical activities and the current academic learning units will be completed and shared with fellow students in a problem-based, collaborative experience.
PT658b Exposure to Physical Therapy in a Health Care System
See description for PT658a—continuation of that course.
Comprehensive patient management following fracture. Content is focused on comprehensive assessment of patients after upper- and lower-extremity fractures. Content will include joint mobilization, exercise progression across the continuum of care, functional progression in activity and function, thermal and non-thermal physical agents, and electrical stimulation for pain relief.
PT691 Differential Diagnosis and Intervention I: Extremity 1
Differential diagnosis associated with pain in the upper extremity, management from injury or overuse, and progression back to function. Content will include highlighting the use of various classification systems and contrast pathoanatomic classification (traditional medical diagnosis) with rehabilitation classification systems driven by irritability and impairments.
PT692 Differential Diagnosis and Intervention II: Extremity 2
Differential diagnosis after an acute lower-extremity musculoskeletal injury, management from injury or surgery, and progression back to participation. The examination content will include differential diagnosis after acute lower-extremity injury and determination of neuromuscular impairments and the need for dynamic stability retraining.
PT672 Integrated Patient Management II: Acute Medical Conditions
Physical therapy management of individuals with acute medical/surgical conditions. Foundational content focuses on the pathophysiology and medical/surgical management of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.
Progressive neurological conditions and associated movement system impairments including motor control and motion, such as ataxia, rigidity, bradykinesia, and tremor. Content will include mobility training; aerobic, flexibility, strength, and balance training; and patient education.
PT787 Experiential Learning
Experiential learning opportunities serve to integrate content and student’s consideration of an individual’s personal and contextual factors while serving the underserved. Students will collaborate with individuals who are underinsured or uninsured, and individuals living with a complex neurologic diagnosis who are not frequently represented in typical clinical education settings. This course will also include novel settings (i.e. telehealth, community-based programming, probono) that requires a breakdown of traditional content silos to refine evidence-based clinical skills of education, examination and evaluation, plan of care development, plan of care implementation, re-evaluation, and promotion of health and wellness.
PT793 Differential Diagnosis and Intervention III: Spine 1
Differential diagnosis and management of low back pain and related problems. Foundational content will highlight the use of various classification systems, manual therapy, and various exercise approaches to intervention, along with the relevant anatomy and biomechanics. Management of chronic pain will be discussed using a biopsychosocial model emphasizing cognitive behavioral approaches and motivational interviewing, along with active rehabilitation approaches.
PT794 Differential Diagnosis and Intervention IV: Spine 2
This course will focus on differential diagnosis and management of neck pain and related problems. Course content will include classification systems for neck pain and vestibular disorders and the exam of patients with temporomandibular joint dysfunction, while interventions will focus on manual therapy and exercise approaches for the various pathologies. Anatomy and biomechanics for this course focus on the cervical spine and the temporomandibular joint, and a review of the vestibular system.
PT761 Movement System: Advanced Analysis and Intervention I
This course describes advanced analysis of the movement system using gait and reaching tasks. The course uses cases to integrate foundational and clinical sciences with content that will include kinematic and kinetic assessment of gait, assessment of patients with amputations, and assessment of patients after shoulder surgeries. The intervention content will include gait training, prosthetic management, and exercise progression after shoulder surgery as well as decision making for adaptive, supportive, and assistive devices considering various reimbursement mechanisms.
PT737 Clinical Simulation Experiences
This course provides students with the opportunity to apply knowledge gained through the first three semesters of the program and to develop clinical reasoning skills and professional communication. Students will participate in multiple clinical simulation experiences, allowing repeated opportunities to practice patient examination and evaluation, establish a plan of care, make intervention decisions, and document patient care.
PT774 Integrated Patient Management IV: Chronic Medical Conditions
This course will focus on the physical therapy management of chronic medical conditions that affect activity and participation. This course uses cases to integrate foundational, clinical, and practice-related content across diverse areas. We will highlight issues related to the psychosocial impact of chronic disease on patients and caregivers across the life span, and levels of care including hospice care and support groups.
PT758 Clinical Education Experience I
This first of the full-time clinical education experiences in the curriculum is eight weeks in length and occurs after one full year of academic coursework, part-time integrated clinical education, and experiential learning opportunities. Close supervision and additional clinical teaching may be required in all areas of clinical practice. Emphasis is placed on developing good interpersonal skills with supervisors, patients, and other health care practitioners.
Management of patients with non-progressive neurologic conditions, with a focus on spinal cord injury. Examination content will include determining and evaluating changes in strength, sensation, and systemic changes related to injuries of the spinal cord and assessing the need for assistance in functional mobility and balance.
PT795 Differential Diagnosis and Intervention V: Pain
Movement system impairments associated with differential diagnosis between various types of pain including neuropathic pain, nociceptive pain, nociplastic pain, and psychosocial aspects of pain. Examination content will focus on differential diagnosis of individuals with the various types of pain, including an introduction to electrodiagnostic testing and interpreting those results.
PT824 Management and Leadership Principles in a PT Setting
Management principles and leadership models with emphasis on application in practice. Students will explore how current financial, legal, and regulatory policies affect physical therapy practice, and impact the patient experience.
PT862 Movement System: Advanced Analysis and Intervention II
Movement system impairments associated with longstanding neuromuscular disorders across the life span. Examination content will include determining neural, biomechanical, and physiologic contributors to impaired functional movements such as gait, balance, and arm-hand actions.
PT846 Health Promotion
This course provides students with an opportunity to organize and conduct an educational program to a community audience of people with chronic medical conditions or who may be at risk for developing a given condition.
PT835 Enhancing Activity and Participation
This course will focus on the integration of advanced patient management concepts in order to enhance activity and participation across the life span. This course will help to develop the clinical skills, reasoning, and decision making to progress patients back to sports, work, or community participation while offering an opportunity to more deeply engage in selected specialty practice areas.
PT858 Clinical Education Experience II
This terminal full-time clinical education experience is 12 weeks in length and occurs after 1.5 years of academic coursework, one full-time clinical education experience, part-time integrated clinical education during the first year of the program, and experiential learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on clinical decision making as a critical component to the physical therapist’s management of any patient in any setting. Sound clinical decision making is key in preparing the student for entry-level competence with multiple diagnoses.
PT859 Clinical Education Experience III
This terminal full-time clinical education experience is 12 weeks in length and occurs after 1.5 years of academic coursework, one first and one terminal full-time clinical education experience, part-time integrated clinical education during the first year of the program, and experiential learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on developing good interpersonal skills with supervisors, patients, and other health care practitioners. It also focuses on oral and written communication skills, performing physical therapy examinations, evaluations, intervention planning, and implementation. The student should become skilled in the role of a physical therapist in the interdisciplinary team and the responsibilities involved in managing a patient caseload.
PT887: Capstone Course:
Students must choose one of the following 3 independent study options listed below to fulfill the capstone requirement. Students may also choose an additional independent study option as an elective course.
PT887a Independent Study: Research
This course is offered beginning in year one of the entry-level curriculum. The course is designed to offer students the opportunity to explore, and participate in a research project. The course provides the student with an opportunity to delve more deeply into the subject matter of a wide range of professional topics. Each experience will be designed individually with a mentor to help the student. In each case, the student will be required to review relevant literature, formulate a plan of action, complete a project, and evaluate the project’s success.
PT887b Independent Study: International Service Learning Elective
During this course, students will have the opportunity to collaborate with an international partner and engage with topics such as: probono healthcare, healthcare for groups that have been historically marginalized (economically, socially, racially) and underserved, transdisciplinary healthcare, and sustainable global healthcare considerations. As a result, this immersive experience requires cultural humility, critical thinking, evidence-based practice balanced with creativity and self-reflection.
Learn more about Arcadia’s hybrid DPT program and connect with an admissions counselor.