Continuing Education

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at St. Ambrose University offers a number of continuing education opportunities in collaboration with the Quad City Consortium for Continuing Education, which includes Genesis Health System, UnityPoint Health, Rock Valley Physical Therapy, and the Children's Therapy Center.

Orthopaedic Course Series

The St. Ambrose University Physical Therapy department is providing advanced level courses in the area of orthopaedics. These courses will involve lectures, laboratory sessions, pre-course readings and post-course assignments. The overall purpose of this course series is to:

1. Enhance therapists' knowledge of musculoskeletal patient management and manual therapy treatment philosophies and approaches.
2. Develop therapists' clinical reasoning and manual therapy skills for the management of patients with musculoskeletal disorders.
3. Prepare therapists to analyze, synthesize and apply current evidence in the management of patients with musculoskeletal disorders.

All courses will be offered in conjunction with our Orthopaedic Clinical Residency Program. Courses will be limited to 32 physical therapists, and there is an expectation that attendees complete reading assignments prior to each course.

Primary Instructors for these courses will be: Kevin P. Farrell, PT, PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT; Candi Gardner, PT, DPT, OCS, CMT; and Jill Hipskind, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CMT.


Click here to register here for the Orthopaedic Course Series

Manual Therapy I: Differentiation and Intervention in Musculoskeletal Practice
Friday, January 12 - Saturday, January 13, 2018
Contact Hours: 12 hours

Description: This course is designed to facilitate therapist's "wise action" during examination and intervention for a patient with a supposed musculoskeletal condition. Emphasis will focus on applied anatomy and physiology, palpation skills, differentiation, "clinical reasoning," and basic manual therapy techniques.  Course Objectives

Manual Therapy II: Manual Therapy for the Upper Quadrant (Occiput-T8)
Friday, May 18 - Sunday, May 20, 2018
Contact Hours: 20 hours

Description: This course addresses examination and assessment of headache, dizziness, temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction, cervical and thoracic symptoms. Examination and manual intervention for peripheral symptoms will make up approximately 35% of the course, with conditions of the axial skeleton making up approximately 65% of course. Course Objectives

Manual Therapy III: Manual Therapy for the Lower Quadrant (T8 and below)
Friday, August 17 - Sunday, August 19, 2018
Contact Hours: 20 hours Description: This course addresses examination and assessment of lumbar and pelvic pain, as well as peripheral symptoms. Examination and manual intervention for peripheral symptoms will make up approximately 45% of the course with conditions of the axial skeleton making up approximately 55% of course. Course Objectives

Manual Therapy IV: Technique Review and Examination
Friday, January 12, 2018 (Friday, January 11, 2019)
Contact Hours: 8 hours

Description: This course provides 8 hours of case-based review related to patients with supposed musculoskeletal conditions. Psychomotor skill review and practice will be included in the 8 hours. Attendees will complete a written examination and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination at the end of this course to demonstrate their comprehension of materials for all the courses in the sequence. Course Objectives

Radiology in Physical Therapist Musculoskeletal Practice
Friday & Saturday, February 9 & 10 and Friday, May 18, 2018
Contact Hours: 18 hours

Description: This course provides the practicing physical therapist the basis for radiograph, MRI, CT scan & bone scan integration into the clinical decision making process for a patient with a supposed musculoskeletal condition. The initial class will discuss the basics of interpretation with the following class meetings addressing regional or joint specific conditions. Course laboratory experiences will allow the therapist to practice interpreting radiographic tests as they pertain to a specific case presentation. Course Objectives

Tuition and Registration

The below table shows the breakdown of tuition associated with the courses. All registration and payment for courses must be done through the Physical Therapy Department's online registration system. For those who need special accommodations or if you have questions about registration, contact our office at 563-333-6403.

Course NameContact Hours*CostSAU Alumni or
QCCCE Member
Remaining Cost after
Clinical Education
Voucher is applied
Manual Therapy I 12 $375 $350 $175
Manual Therapy II 20 $540 $515 $340
Manual Therapy III 20 $540 $515 $340
Manual Therapy IV 8 $215 $200 No Voucher Accepted
Radiology 18 $475 $450 $275

A limited number of Clinical Education Vouchers will be accepted for these courses. Efforts will be made to ensure that there is a distribution of clinical sites that are able to use vouchers. Multiple vouchers from the same site will not be accepted until other sites have had an opportunity to use their vouchers. An individual may only use one voucher per calendar year for the Orthopaedic Course Series.

*See Courses (above) for specific contact hours and requirements.

Register here for the Orthopaedic Course Series

Evidence-Based Practice Institute

March 23-24, 2018

This two-day workshop will advance educators' capacity for developing evidence-based practice (EBP) skills among physical therapy students and clinicians. The course will address both overarching curricular design and innovative teaching strategies for EBP skills.

Throughout the workshop, participants will reflect upon the strengths and challenges of their current curriculum for meeting the goals of educating evidence-based physical therapists. Large- and small-group discussions will address curricular solutions to meet those goals. Participants will engage in model student-centered learning sessions and practice creative strategies for teaching searching skills, critical appraisal, statistical concepts, use of technology for point-of-care EBP, and evidence application to case examples. Each participant will also develop a plan for assessing student EBP learning outcomes. The APTA Section on Research 2014 DPT Curriculum Guidelines and the text Evidence-Based Physical Therapy (FA Davis, 2012) will be used as resources.

Program Objectives: At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
1. Describe the necessary evidence-based content for physical therapy entry-level education.
2. Demonstrate advanced strategies for teaching searching for research evidence.
3. Demonstrate advanced strategies for teaching appraisal and clinical application of research evidence.
4. Identify goals for your physical therapy entry-level program's evidence-based curriculum and strategies for achieving these goals.
5. Identify successful strategies for measuring student evidence-based practice knowledge and skills.

This workshop is designed for:
• Physical therapy academic and clinical faculty who already possess a basic working knowledge and application of evidence-based physical therapy practice.
• Physical therapy educators who want to explore issues related to teaching and implementing evidence-based practice into their academic and clinical curricula.

General Rate: $450/person
Clinical Partner Rate: $400/person. Available for Clinical Sites who take SAU students for clinical education experiences.
Voucher Rate: $200/person. Available as long as a voucher can be provided for the person attending. Multiple vouchers from the same site will not be accepted until other sites have had an opportunity to use their voucher.

Click here to register


Friday, March 23

8-8:30 a.m. Registration. Coffee and beverages provided
8:30-10:15 a.m. Welcome, Participant Goals and Introductions. Establishing a common language for EBP
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-11 a.m. The changing role of research in PT Education. Where is your program on the EBP continuum? How did you decide?
11 a.m.-Noon What are the essential EBP skills students should have upon graduation? Need to Know or Nice to Know? (small group discussions)
Noon-1 p.m. Lunch provided
1-2 p.m. Large group consensus regarding EBP essential skills: Need to Know
2-3:30 p.m. Teaching appraisal skills: Need to Know

• Demonstration from example student assignment
• Group discussion

3:30-3:45 p.m. Break
3:45-5 p.m. Designing the Flow of the EBP Curriculum: Round 1

Saturday, March 24

8-8:30 a.m. Check-In. Coffee and beverages provided
8:30-8:50 a.m. Checking our progress (questions, clarifications, adjustments)
8:50-10:15 a.m. Strategies for teaching search skills
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30-11:15 a.m. Building the EBP curriculum into clinical courses and clinical education
11:15-Noon Bringing clinical instructor faculty into the fold (small and large group discussion)
Noon-1 p.m. Lunch - Provided
1-2 p.m. Assessing EBP student learning
2-3 p.m. Designing the EBP Curriculum: Round 2
3-3:15 p.m. Break
3:15-4 p.m. Using technology to enhance EBP teaching and learning
4-5 p.m. Solidifying the next steps


Linda Fetters, PT, PhD, FAPTA is professor and Sykes Family Chair in pediatric physical therapy, health, and development, Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy and Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. She directs the Development of Infant Motor Performance Laboratory where her research focuses on improving the quality of life for infants and children with movement difficulties due to neurological insults. Dr. Fetters teaches development, pediatric physical therapy, and evidence-based physical therapy (PT) practice. She has developed distance education in PT and taught evidence-based PT practice in a distance format. Dr. Fetters is the Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric Physical Therapy, Journal of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy (APTA). She has taught and given presentations throughout the United States and in numerous countries worldwide.

Julie Tilson, PT, DPT, MS, NCS is Associate Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy and Director of the hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy program, DPT@USC, at the University of Southern California (USC) Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. As an educator and scholar, she specializes in understanding the most effective methods for translating rehabilitation research into clinical practice. Dr. Tilson teaches Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in USC's Doctor of Physical Therapy program and to clinicians nationally and internationally. Her curricula emphasize active learning and the integration of scientific research, clinical expertise, and patient perspectives into clinical decision making. Dr. Tilson is co-author of the popular text, Evidence-Based Physical Therapy (FA Davis, 2012), and has authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications. She is also a Board Certified Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy, an Editor for BMC Medical Education, and President-Elect of the Section on Research of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Dr. Fetters and Dr. Tilson are co-authors of the textbook, Evidence-based Physical Therapy (2012) published by F.A. Davis. The 2nd edition is due to be published in 2018.

Evidence-Based Practice Symposium

Monday, April 23, 2018

The St. Ambrose University Physical Therapy Department will host an Evidence-Based Practice Symposium on Monday, April 23, 2018 from 6-8:45 p.m. in the Rogalski Center ballroom. During this event, second year students will present their year-long projects. As in the past there will be presentations focused on summarizing the best available evidence supporting clinically-based questions. Some students will present a case report from their clinical experiences. Throughout the evening four presentations will run concurrently, giving attendees the option to choose topics that best match their interests. The schedule of presentations and objectives for the evening are provided.

By attending this conference, 3.0 free hours of continuing education will be provided for area physical therapists and physical therapy assistants. To assist in planning for the event, please register for this symposium here on or before Monday, April 16, 2018.

Click here to register

Quad City Consortium for Continuing Education

St. Ambrose University, Genesis Health System, UnityPoint Health, Rock Valley Physical Therapy, and the Children's Therapy Center are members of the Quad City Consortium for Continuing Education.

Check back for upcoming events

Pharmacology in Rehabilitation

June 14-15, 2018

Featuring Charles D. Ciccone, PT, PhD

Sponsored by the SAU Physical Therapy Department

Physical therapists and other rehabilitation specialists recognize the fact that drugs can influence their patients' responses to physical rehabilitation. Medications may provide beneficial effects that act synergistically with the rehabilitation treatment, or they can generate side effects that may adversely affect rehabilitation goals. Hence, many therapists want to learn more about pharmacology and how drug therapy can interact with rehabilitation.

This course will present some of the basic drug classes and the physiologic basis of their action. Drugs will be grouped according to their general effects and the type of disorders they are routinely used to treat. Special emphasis will be placed on drugs that are commonly used to treat disorders seen in patients receiving physical therapy and how drug therapy interacts with rehabilitation.

Register online

Download the brochure (pdf)


Nora Riley, PhD, Program Director

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Center for Health Sciences Education at Genesis
1320 W. Lombard St.
Davenport, IA 52803

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