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Doctor of Physical Therapy

 

 

Entry-Level DPT Course Descriptions

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DPT 500 - Human Gross Anatomy - 5 credits
The purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth study of the anatomy of the human body as it applies to the practice of physical therapy. Lectures are complemented by student-performed regional dissection of human cadavers, instructor-prepared prosections, and computer assisted instruction. Emphasis is placed on examining the relationship between the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and vascular systems of the body.

DPT 515 - Professional Seminar - 1 credit
This seminar introduces resources valuable to becoming an effective graduate student and adult learner. The course focuses on preparing the student for successful completion of clinical education experiences and use of available resources.

DPT 520 - Pathology and Medical Management I - 3 credits
This course will explore the nature and cause of disease, as well as the current medical management and role of the therapist in the treatment of human disease. Specifically, we will identify the structural and physiologic changes caused by a variety of human diseases. Emphasis will be placed on clinical presentation, etiology, pathophysiology, and current medical management of each disease discussed. The role of the physical therapist in the management of these diseases will be presented. Diseases will be discussed in relation to organ systems after discussion of basic pathologic principles. These include: infectious, endocrine, integument, cardiovascular, hematological, respiratory, pediatric, musculoskeletal and neurological.

DPT 525 - Pathology and Medical Management II - 2 credits
This course is the second in a two-course sequence that builds on the DPT 520 (Pathology and Medical Management I) course. Consistent themes of clinical presentation, etiology, pathophysiology, and current medical management of each disease, as well as the role of the physical therapist, continue to be emphasized. This course requires utilization of all knowledge and skills developed in DPT 520. DPT 525 adds medical management of additional diseases in the musculoskeletal, neurological, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary systems.

DPT 530 - Kinesiology/Biomechanics - 5 credits
An introduction to factors influencing human normal and pathological motion directed toward rehabilitation. Scientific, biomechanical, structural, physiological, and anatomical principles underlying human tissues and their influence on motion will be studied. Techniques and applicability of analysis to normal and pathological motion will be explored. This course is designed so that the content and sequence parallel with DPT 500 (Gross Anatomy) and DPT 560 (Physical Therapy Procedures I). It also runs simultaneous to DPT 531 - Functional Anatomy.

DPT 531 - Functional Anatomy - 1 credit
Physical therapists utilize a range of assessment techniques in order to evaluate human structure and function. These assessment techniques include visual observation and manual palpation of anatomical landmarks, examination of joint mobility and range of motion, and testing of the muscular strength and performance. The general purpose of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and psychomotor skills necessary to successfully utilize and document these basic forms of assessment in clinical practice.

DPT 540 - Neuroanatomy/Neurophysiology - 5 credits
This course provides an in-depth overview of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology with special emphasis on relationships to both normal human function and dysfunction resulting from maldevelopment or injury to the nervous system. These relationships are fundamental to understanding the signs and symptoms that clients will present in the clinic initially, as well as the progression or regression of the patient during therapy.  Correlated laboratories will introduce procedures used for the clinical examination of sensory and motor systems.

DPT 550 - Introduction to Physical Therapy - 3 credits
An introduction to physical therapy as a health profession, including its history, current status, and projections for the future. The importance of professional socialization and development will be introduced. Ethical standards for professional conduct, medical-legal aspects, regulation, and the scope of professional practice will be highlighted. Effective documentation, teaching strategies, and professional relations will be emphasized. Select professional issues and societal needs will be examined for their impact upon physical therapy and society.

DPT 560 - Physical Therapy Procedures I - 3 credits
In this course students will gain skills necessary to perform an evaluation of a patient, and begin to develop a treatment plan. Skills that will be developed include: the basics of a subjective evaluation, tests/measures/screens for mental status, vitals (blood pressure, respiratory rate and pulse rate), skin integrity, basic sensation/coordination/balance, general joint range of motion/muscular strength screening bed mobility, transfers, assistive devices related to gait, gait training. Students will also develop skills in the design and implementation of the following therapeutic exercise programs using a problem based approach; balance/coordination, muscle strength, power and endurance, flexibility, and stabilization training. Emphasis will be placed on rationale for exercise prescription, physiological systems trained, proper performance of techniques, appropriate monitoring of response to exercise, and adjustment of training dosage.

DPT 570 - Physical Agents - 4 credits
This course focuses on the physical and physiological basis for safe and effective use of therapeutic physical agents, including massage, mechanical compression, heat and cold, hydrotherapy, ultraviolet light, laser, biofeedback, and electricity. Theoretical models for understanding basis for pain are introduced. Emphasis is placed on development of clinical rationales/decision making/problem solving.

DPT 580 - Clinical Education - 0 credits
This is the first in a series of seven clinical education experiences during which the student is to integrate academic materials and practice psychomotor skills including patient examination, assessment, interventions and documentation which have been presented to date in the curriculum. The student is also expected to observe, discuss and assist the Clinical Instructor with examinations and interventions that have not yet been presented in class. During this fulltime two-week experience, the student will be supervised by his/her Clinical Instructor (a licensed physical therapist whose facility contracts with St. Ambrose University for the purpose of providing clinical education experiences).

DPT 581 Clinical Education - 0 credits
This course continues with some of the themes introduced in DPT 515 Professional Seminar, including professional behaviors, cultural competence, and use of clinical education resources. Emphasis will be on utilizing clinical education resources to select and prepare for future clinical experiences and internships.

DPT 582 - Clinical Education - 0 credits
This is the second in a series of seven clinical education experiences during which the student is to integrate academic materials and practice psychomotor skills including patient examination, assessment, interventions and documentation which have been presented to date in the curriculum. The student is also expected to observe, discuss and assist the CI with examinations and interventions that have not yet been presented in class. During this fulltime three-week experience, the student will be supervised by his/her CI (a licensed physical therapist whose facility contracts with St. Ambrose University for the purpose of providing clinical education experiences). Students will be assigned to clinical sites in which they can experience generalist practice.

DPT 590 - Pharmacology - 1 credit
Pharmacology is the study of drugs and their use in medical treatment. In this course the student will gain knowledge in basic pharmacological principles and application to rehabilitation therapy. Pharmacotherapeutic agents (drugs) will be discussed based on a combination of organ systems and general drug classifications to provide the rationale of drug therapy. Emphasis will be placed on the types of disorders these agents treat, adverse effects they cause and special implications of specific drugs to the therapists.

DPT 600 - Issues in Patient Care - 3 credits
This course examines psycho/social/emotional issues that have impact on high quality patient/client care. Influences on effective patient/client/ therapist communication, patient/client motivation and compliance/adherence, and goal attainment will be assessed. Roles of physical therapists as collaborators, consultants, teachers and care supervisors for patients/ clients with a range of psycho /social needs will be discussed. Strategies for identification/prevention of professional/care giver burnout will be presented.

DPT 620 - Musculoskeletal Therapeutics I - 5 credits
This course, the first in a two-course sequence, addresses patients with musculoskeletal conditions. A quadrant (upper and lower) approach to instruction and testing is utilized in this course. Differentiation is a key theme for the musculoskeletal sequence with emphasis on clinical reasoning (signs and symptoms approach). Interventions in DPT 620 will include patient education, appropriate modalities and therapeutic exercise for the entire musculoskeletal system and manual therapy for the extremity joints. The desired outcome is return to patient's highest level of function with consideration of lifespan, cultural, and the patient's individual goals. This course is integrated with the Cardiopulmonary and Neuromuscular Therapeutics courses.

DPT 630 - Neuromuscular Therapeutics - 5 credits
The focus of this course is on the physical therapy management of adult patients with neuromuscular disorders related to injury (e.g., cerebral vascular accident, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury) or degeneration (e.g., Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis) of central and peripheral components of the neuromuscular system. Elements related to examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention and outcomes will be highlighted. Concepts related to motor control and motor learning will be incorporated throughout the course. Related research will be used to support interventions and assessment of outcomes.

DPT 635 - Clinical Exercise Physiology - 3 credits
This course focuses on the principles of health promotion, wellness, and adult fitness. Emphasis is placed on risk stratification and methods to identify patients at risk for cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic disorders. Essentials of human physiology and exercise physiology are reviewed to prepare the student for content in DPT 640 (Cardiopulmonary Therapeutics).

DPT 640 - Cardiopulmonary Therapeutics - 3 credits
This course covers tests, measures and interventions used by physical therapists for patients and clients with or at risk for cardiovascular and pulmonary impairments. Emphasis is placed on techniques and theories of patient management across the lifespan.

DPT 645 -Pediatric Therapeutics - 2 credits
The focus of this course is on the physical therapy management of pediatric patients with neuromuscular disorders related to complications of prematurity (e.g., PVL, IVH), injury (e.g., cerebral palsy, myelomeningocele), or genetics (e.g., Down syndrome) affecting central and peripheral components of the neuromuscular system. Elements related to examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention and outcomes will be highlighted. Emphasis will be placed on an understanding of the child within the context of her family, community, culture and larger social systems. Frameworks for clinical decision making will be identified and used to guide learning and problem solving throughout the course. Concepts related to motor control and motor learning will be incorporated throughout the course. Related research will be used to support interventions and assessment of outcomes.

DPT 650 - Issues in Research I - 3 credits
This course is the first in a two course series that covers topics relevant to clinical research and the principles of evidence-based practice. Topics include research design, sound measurement principles, basic descriptive statistics, and an introduction to the efficient use of information systems to conduct clinical research and answer clinical questions. A major portion of the course will emphasize the critical appraisal and synthesis of the findings of clinical research. Information is presented to enhance the student's understanding of the scientific method and clinical research. Students will begin to develop a clinical question that will become the topic of their scholarly project.

DPT 660 - Professional Practice in Health Care Systems - 3 credits
This is the last in a series of courses concerned with contemporary issues in health care. The course focuses on development, administration and management of physical therapy services within current and emerging health care systems. Approaches to optimizing the professional effectiveness of practitioners will be emphasized.

DPT 670 - Orthotics and Prosthetics - 3 credits
This course introduces the entry-level student to concepts of orthotic and prosthetic management of patient conditions. Consistent themes in this course include lifespan, cultural, financial issues and patient's own individual goals in helping the patient achieve their highest level of function. DPT 670 is cross curricular in nature addressing impairments presented in other courses (neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, integument, musculoskeletal, and psychosocial). The student will learn psychomotor skills in laboratory such as taping, total contact casting, residual limb wrapping and therapeutic exercise. The student is required to visit a local prosthetics clinic to provide exposure to the profession of prosthetist/orthotist. A team approach is emphasized with the team consisting but not limited to patient, patient's family, physical therapist, physician, prosthetist/orthotist, social worker, and occupational therapist.

DPT 674 - Integumentary Therapeutics - 1 credit
This course focuses the elements of patient/client management for individuals who have integumentary issues or diagnoses. These elements include: examination (tests and measures), evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis/plan of care and interventions. Emphasis is placed on development of clinical rationales/decision making/problem solving. Other issues and roles for the physical therapist in integumentary management will also be presented: prevention, promotion of health/wellness/fitness, consultation, education, critical inquiry, administration and appropriate use of support staff. Specific areas of wound/skin management that will be covered are: the normal healing process, various types of wounds, factors that impede healing, wound/patient evaluation, debridement/ irrigation, dressings, modalities/physical agents and documentation and reimbursement.

DPT 680 - Clinical Education - 0 credits
This is the third in a series of seven clinical education experiences during which the student is to integrate academic materials and practice psychomotor skills including patient examination, assessment, interventions and documentation which have been presented to date in the curriculum. The student is also expected to observe, discuss and assist the Clinical Instructor with examinations and interventions that have not yet been presented in class. During this fulltime, two-week experience, the student will be supervised by his/her Clinical Instructor (a licensed physical therapist whose facility contracts with St. Ambrose University for the purpose of providing clinical education experiences).

DPT 700 - Issues in Research II - 1 credit
This course is the second in a two course series that covers topics relevant to evidence-based practice and to the research process. Information is presented to further enhance the student's understanding of the scientific method, evidence-based practice principles, and clinical research. This course will focus on research design and the appropriate use and interpretation of statistical analysis related to clinical research. Students will apply this knowledge to examples from the physical therapy literature in order to become good consumers of research, fostering critical evaluation of theories and techniques used in clinical practice

DPT 705 - Critical Inquiry - 2 credits
Under faculty supervision, all Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students are required to complete a scholarly project. Students will work in groups of three (or four) to complete this requirement. The purpose of the project is to allow students to demonstrate their ability to examine a question relevant to physical therapy practice in a systematic, scholarly, and critical manner. This requirement can be fulfilled in two ways: 1) Completion of a scholarly paper in the form of a structured annotated bibliography, or 2) Completion of a research project and thesis.

DPT 720 - Musculoskeletal Therapeutics II - 3 credits
This course is the second in a two-course sequence that builds on the DPT 620 course. Consistent themes of quadrant approach, clinical reasoning, lifespan, cultural competence, and patient first approach continue to be emphasized. This course requires utilization of all knowledge and skills developed in DPT 620. DPT 720 adds a more in-depth approach to the spine and tempero-mandibular joints. Manual therapy to include thrust manipulation (thoracic and lumbar spine) is taught in this course. Incorporation of concepts of bracing and taping (application of concepts from DPT 670) are also integrated in this course. This course is cross curricular in nature, primarily focused on patients with musculoskeletal conditions but considering impairments from others systems.

DPT 760 - Physical Therapy Procedures II - 3 credits
This course presents advanced specialized and current evaluation and treatment topics applicable to selected specific patient populations and specialty practices in physical therapy. Topics include pediatrics, work hardening, aquatics, women's health, alternative therapies, and geriatrics. It is anticipated that the course will facilitate student interest in pursuing future specialty areas as well as increase their exposure to a greater variety of skills, techniques, and topics.

DPT 780 - Clinical Education - 0 credits
This is the fourth in a series of seven clinical education experiences during which the student is to integrate academic materials and practice psychomotor skills including patient examination, assessment, interventions and documentation which have been presented to date in the curriculum. The student is also expected to observe, discuss and assist the Clinical Instructor with examinations and interventions that have not yet been presented in class. During this fulltime, two-week experience, the student will be supervised by his/her Clinical Instructor (a licensed physical therapist whose facility contracts with St. Ambrose University for the purpose of providing clinical education experiences).

DPT 781 - Clinical Education - 6 credits
This is the fifth in a series of seven clinical education experiences included in the curriculum. By the completion of this eight-week internship, the student is to demonstrate entry-level performance* in the delivery of patient care in the designated area of clinical practice (inpatient acute care, neurological rehabilitation, or outpatient orthopedics). The student will be supervised during this internship by his/her Clinical Instructor (a licensed physical therapist whose facility contracts with St. Ambrose University for the purpose of providing clinical education experiences).

*Entry-level performance (as defined in the Clinical Performance Instrument): A physical therapist clinician performing at entry-level utilizes critical thinking of make independent decisions concerning patient needs and provides quality care with simple or complex patients in a variety of clinical environments. The physical therapist clinician at the professional level needs no guidance or supervision except when addressing new or complex problems.

DPT 782 - Clinical Education - 6 credits
This is the sixth in a series of seven clinical education experiences included in the curriculum. By the completion of this eight-week internship, the student is to demonstrate entry-level performance* in the delivery of patient care in the designated area of clinical practice (inpatient acute care, neurological rehabilitation, or outpatient orthopedics). The student will be supervised during this internship by his/her Clinical Instructor (a licensed physical therapist whose facility contracts with St. Ambrose University for the purpose of providing clinical education experiences).

DPT 784 - Clinical Education - 6 credits
This is the seventh in a series of seven clinical education experience of the curriculum. By the completion of this eight-week internship, the student is to demonstrate entry-level performance* in the delivery of patient care in the designated area of clinical practice (inpatient acute care, neurological rehabilitation, or outpatient orthopedics). The student will be supervised during this internship by his/her Clinical Instructor (a licensed physical therapist whose facility contracts with St. Ambrose University for the purpose of providing clinical education experiences).

DPT 800 - Applied Anatomy & Physiology - 2 credits
This course is designed to help students understand and apply anatomical and physiological principles that influence physical therapy practice. Information will build upon prior basic and clinical science course work. An emphasis will be placed on understanding how systemic and cellular adaptations that result from both intrinsic (e.g.: disease, aging) and extrinsic factors (e.g.: injury, training, and pharmacologic intervention) influence rehabilitation. Examples will cross all major practice pattern categories (musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary) and the life-span. Students will integrate this knowledge into examination, evaluation, and the development of care plans.

DPT 810 - Advanced Diagnostics I - 1 credit
This course, the 1st in a series of two, examines diagnostic testing procedures used in the evaluation of patients with acute and chronic disorders and disease processes. The emphasis of this specific course will be on the type of information gained through the procedures of clinical laboratory testing and medical imaging, including the sensitivity and specificity of key tests, and how test results can be used to influence the physical therapy examination, interventions, and plan of care.

DPT 815 - Advanced Diagnostics II - 1 credit
This course, the 2nd in a series of two, examines diagnostic testing procedures used a range of contemporary medical specialties for the evaluation of patients with acute and chronic disorders and disease processes. The emphasis of this course will be placed on diagnostic processes used by these medical specialties, including information gained through laboratory tests, imaging and the clinical examination, and how diagnostic results can be used to influence the physical therapy examination, interventions, and plan of care.

DPT 820 - Differential Diagnosis - 2 credits
This course will enhance the student's ability to develop pattern recognition skills for conditions or diseases across the human body systems. Hypothesis development and testing as pertains to the physical therapy differential diagnosis will be emphasized. This course also addresses appropriate physical therapist interventions, to include referral for conditions or diseases that are not within a physical therapist's scope of practice. Cases of patients having multiple conditions will be used so that students must determine which condition or disease drives intervention.

DPT 830 - Management of the Medically Complex Patient - 2 credits
This course is designed to help students perform thorough physical therapy examinations and develop effective care plans for medically complex patients. Building upon an understanding of relevant patho-physiology, the learner will be challenged to integrate the findings of laboratory tests, diagnostic testing, medical treatment, and procedures, as well as, information gained from the patient, their families, and other members of the health care team into the decision making process. A case study format examination/treatment of mock patients, and group work with faculty mentorship will be used to address multiple system impairments across the lifespan and continuum of course.