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Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy Courses

PTHR 311. Gross Human Anatomy. 6 Units.

This course involves a detailed regional analysis of the structure of the human body that includes the lower extremity, upper extremity, head, neck and trunk, and thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities. Functional correlates to the structures are also presented and discussed. The course has a lecture component as well as a cadaver dissection based laboratory/discussion component. Prerequisites: Admission to the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 312. Exercise Physiology in Physical Therapy. 2 Units.

This course is designed to give the physical therapy student a strong foundational knowledge of the physiological response to exercise under normal and pathological conditions, and the mechanisms responsible for those changes. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 313. Clinical Kinesiology I. 3 Units.

This course introduces students to the basic principles of kinesiology and biomechanics. It emphasizes the integration of basic science knowledge from multiple disciplines into an applied clinical approach to the study of human movement. Course content focuses on the basis of human movement from cells to systems, as well as normal and pathological movement of the lower extremity. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 314. Introduction to Physical Therapist Practice. 1 Unit.

This course introduces students to the principles and practice of physical therapy. Students explore the history and the role of the profession of physical therapy in the healthcare system and as a member of the healthcare team. Students begin to develop professional behaviors and communication skills required to function as a member in that role. This course includes an introduction to the various practice areas of Physical Therapy. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 316. Physical Therapy Examination and Evaluation. 4 Units.

This course provides an overview of basic examination procedures and clinical reasoning approaches used throughout the practice of physical therapy. Course content includes history-taking, vital signs, inspection, palpation, range of motion measurement, manual muscle testing, neurologic testing, selected special tests, and other functional tests. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 318. Physical Therapy Patient Care Skills. 1 Unit.

This course introduces the students to the basic principles and practice of patient care in physical therapy. Course content includes patient education, bed mobility and related techniques, transfers and body mechanics, gait devices, wheelchairs, documentation, and aseptic bandaging techniques. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 319. Physical Agents. 1 Unit.

This course enables the student to properly select and safely and competently apply the various physical agents used by physical therapists. Topics covered include physiological responses and indications, contraindications and precautions for each modality. Case studies are used to illustrate the principles of evaluation and treatment planning. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 321. The Nervous System and Behavior. 5 Units.

This course is designed to give the student an in-depth understanding to the structure and function of the nervous system, how it controls movement and behavior, and how deficits in the system affect movement and behavior. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 323. Clinical Kinesiology II. 3 Units.

This course is a continuation of PTHR 313 and extends the examination of normal and pathological human movement to the upper extremities, trunk and TMJ regions. Basic biomechanical and kinesiological principles are presented. The relationship of these principles to the clinical environment is stressed. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 326. Therapeutic Exercise: Basic Theory and Application. 4 Units.

This course provides an introduction to the theory and application of therapeutic exercise in physical therapist practice. Students gain an understanding of the physiological effects of training and de-training on the human body and develop the evaluative skills necessary to prescribe a therapeutic exercise plan. Students learn therapeutic exercise techniques for addressing strength, power, endurance, balance, stability, motor control and neuromuscular re-education in a variety of patient populations. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 328. Research: Theory and Application. 2 Units.

This course helps the student develop an understanding of the scientific method of inquiry, research design and methodologies, critical analysis of research articles, critical analysis of health science concepts and findings, and development of clinical research projects through application of the basic principles of the scientific method. This course provides the fundamental background to help students understand evidence-based practice in Physical Therapy. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 329. Pathophysiology. 4 Units.

This course involves the detailed analysis of the structure, function and pathology of the organ systems of the body. Functional correlates to physical therapy care are included. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 332. Electrotherapy. 2 Units.

This course enables the student to properly select and safely and competently apply various therapeutic electrical devices. Topics include physiological responses, indications, contraindications, and precautions for the use of these electrical devices. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 333. Analysis of Movement Through the Life Span. 3 Units.

This course focuses on the development and refinement of human movement from infancy to older adulthood. Students develop visual observation skills and handling techniques used to facilitate normal movement in various patient populations. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 334. Medical Conditions and Screening for Medical Disease. 4 Units.

This course focuses on the process of screening for medical referral in the practice of physical therapy. The students learn the major signs and symptoms and medical and pharmacologic management of various medical diseases and conditions. This course also covers the possible sources of referred pain from systemic diseases that may mimic or increase pain caused by neuromuscular or musculoskeletal pathology. The students learn through the use of patient/client interview and other tests and measurements to recognize signs and symptoms that may require referral to other practitioners. During this process, the student applies principles of professional communication to interactions with patients, physicians and other health care providers. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 335. Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy. 4 Units.

This course addresses physical therapy examination, evaluation of and interventions for the individual with cardiovascular and/or pulmonary disease. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 336. Clinical Experience I. 1 Unit.

This course consists of a clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed, qualified physical therapist(s) for the purpose of practicing basic examination and intervention techniques and professional behaviors learned in the first two terms of the program. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 338. Clinical Experience II. 1 Unit.

This course consists of a clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed, qualified physical therapist(s) for the purpose of practicing basic examination and intervention techniques and professional behaviors learned in the first year of the program. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 339. Motor Learning and Motor Control. 2 Units.

This course focuses on current theories of motor learning and motor control. These theories will provide a foundation for clinical diagnosis of movement and postural control disorders as well as assessment and treatment interventions. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 341. Integumentary Physical Therapy. 1 Unit.

This course serves as an introduction to the integumentary system with a primary focus on wound and burn care. Topics include an in depth study of the healing process, the affect of disease on the healing process, and integumentary changes over the lifespan. Physical therapy evaluation and treatment options for burns and wounds of vascular, traumatic, and surgical origin are presented as well as precautions and contraindications associated with these interventions. Lab sessions cover wound assessments, debridement, adjunctive interventions, and dressings. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 342. Physical Therapy Leadership, Administration, and Management. 1 Unit.

This course provides an introduction to principles of leadership, business administration, and management in health care. These principles are specifically applied to physical therapy practice settings. Topics include interviewing and negotiating, business planning and budgeting, public relations, and billing and coding. Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior coursework in the DPT program or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 343. Geriatric Physical Therapy. 1 Unit.

This course focuses on physical therapy management of the geriatric patient population. Students gain an understanding of age related changes in biology, physiology, anatomy and function as well as psychological issues and pathological changes associated with aging. Students integrate this knowledge with previous coursework to identify orthopedic, neurological, cardiopulmonary, cardiovascular and integumentary treatment consideration for geriatric patients. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 344. Neuromuscular Physical Therapy. 5 Units.

This course focuses on examination, evaluation and intervention for patients and clients with neuromuscular dysfunction. This course emphasizes the establishment of a diagnosis by a physical therapist, identification of a realistic prognosis and selection of various intervention options based on best evidence. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 345. Advanced Clinical Problems I. 1 Unit.

This course facilitates the integration of knowledge from all prior course work using case studies and actual patient contacts to perform physical therapy examination, evaluation, and intervention. Case studies and patient contacts may include examples of patients/clients with orthopedic, neurological, integumentary, cardiopulmonary, and multiple systems disorders. Students perform all elements of patient care under faculty supervision. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 346. Seminar. 2 Units.

During this course students have opportunities to practice the range of physical therapy problem solving through analysis and discussion of various clinical scenarios. The continuum from evaluation to diagnosis to prognosis to treatment selection is incorporated into each presented discussion with emphasis on clinical decision-making and systems interaction approach to patient management. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 347. Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I. 5 Units.

This course integrates and expands the student's understanding of previous physical therapy coursework as it applies to the musculoskeletal setting, and introduces the student to manual therapy techniques. Students apply concepts from previous coursework to the examination, evaluation, and intervention of patient/clients in the musculoskeletal/orthopedic setting with a regional emphasis on the extremities. Additionally students develop basic competencies in manual therapy techniques for the extremities. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 351. Prosthetics and Orthotics. 1 Unit.

This course provides the student with a basic understanding of the prescription, fitting and use of various orthotic and prosthetic devices. Biomechanical properties of normal and pathological gait for the user of lower extremity devices are discussed. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 352. Physical Therapy Management of Population Health. 2 Units.

This course emphasizes the physical therapy profession and the practice of physical therapy as it relates to promoting the health of populations. Special emphasis will include health policy, applied epidemiologic methods, population health program design, and evaluation, health communications, population health ethics, and professional advocacy. Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior coursework in the DPT program or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 353. Diagnostic Imaging for Physical Therapists. 2 Units.

This course covers basic principles and interpretation of diagnostic imaging modalities as they apply to the physical therapist. This course covers medical imaging of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular/neurological systems. More common normal anatomical variants, as well as pathological variants and congenital anomalies are addressed. A discussion of special imaging techniques is also presented with the emphasis on CT scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The course aims to prepare the students to recognize the importance of integrating imaging into clinical analysis of the patient's presentation and to incorporate the results of medical imaging studies when making clinical judgments. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 354. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 1 Unit.

This course provides the student with a foundational understanding of issues and problems that affect the pediatric population addressed by the practice of physical therapy. Students are expected to incorporate knowledge of previous course work used in the evaluation and development of intervention strategies for patients in this population. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 355. Advanced Clinical Problems II. 1 Unit.

This course prepares students for physical therapist practice in inpatient/acute care settings using case studies and simulation scenarios. Students will integrate prior course work to demonstrate examination and evaluation skills, interventions, clinical decision-making, and appropriate responses to adverse patient responses. Patient simulations include pathologies commonly encountered in the inpatient setting. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 356. Psychosocial Aspects of Illness and Disability. 2 Units.

This course is a survey of psychological and social factors related to physical illness and disability. Scientific, theoretical and clinical literature are examined with emphasis on understanding the impact of illness and/or disability on the individual, the family, and the health care professional. This course also covers stress management and professional burn-out. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 357. Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II. 2 Units.

This course is a continuation of PTHR 347. This course integrates and expands the student's understanding of previous physical therapy coursework as it applies to the musculoskeletal setting, and extends the student's knowledge of manual therapy techniques. Students apply concepts from previous coursework to the examination, evaluation, and intervention of patient/clients in the musculoskeletal/orthopedic setting with a regional emphasis on the spine and TMJ. Additionally students develop basic competencies in manual therapy techniques for the spine and TMJ. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 358. Clinical Education and Early Career Development. 2 Units.

This course will prepare students for success in full-time clinical experiences and beyond into early career. Students will be oriented to the performance instrument that will be used to evaluate their clinical performance, and to common teaching strategies used by clinical faculty. Topics also include conflict resolution, legal risk management, professional licensure, National Physical Therapy Examination preparation, and planning for ongoing professional development. Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior coursework in the DPT program or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 359. Clinical Internship I. 4 Units.

This course consists of a full-time clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist (designated as "Clinical Instructors" aka "CI") at specified facilities. Students have the opportunity to perform clinical rotations in a variety of clinical settings. Three Clinical Internships occur between Spring/Summer/Fall terms of the final graduate year. By conclusion of Clinical Internship III, students are required to complete one acute care experience and one outpatient clinical experience. A third experience is assigned according to student interest and clinical availability. Each rotation should be in a physically different clinical setting to provide the student with a well rounded education and to prepare him/her for entry level practice, as recognized by Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 368. Clinical Internship II. 6 Units.

This course consists of a full-time clinical experience under the supervision of licensed physical therapists (designated as "Clinical Instructors" aka "CI") at specified facilities. Students have the opportunity to perform clinical rotations in a variety of clinical settings. Three Clinical Internships occur between Spring/Summer/Fall terms of the final graduate year. By conclusion of Clinical Internship III, students are required to complete on acute care experience and one outpatient clinical experience. A third experience is assigned according to student interest and clinical availability. Each rotation should be in a physically different clinical setting to provide the student with a well rounded education and to prepare him/her for entry level practice, as recognized by Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 369. Clinical Internship III. 6 Units.

This course consists of a full-time clinical experience under the supervision of licensed physical therapists (designated as "Clinical Instructors" aka "CI") at specified facilities. Students have the opportunity to perform clinical rotations in a variety of clinical settings. Three Clinical Internships occur betwen Spring/Summer/Fall terms of the final graduate year. By conclusion of Clinical Internship III, students are required to complete one acute care experience and one outpatient clinical experience. A third experience is assigned according to student interest and clinic availability. Each rotation should be in a physically different clinical setting to provide the student with a well rounded education and to prepare him/her for entry level practice, as recognized by Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 380. Medical Spanish for Physical Therapists. 1 Unit.

This elective course teaches the basic Spanish grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure necessary to communicate with patients in a physical therapy and/or medical setting. The course consists primarily of lectures and basic conversational interaction in Spanish. Prerequesites: Successful completion of all previous DPT course work or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 381. Soft Tissue Mobilization and Taping. 1 Unit.

This course teaches both soft tissue mobilization techniques for the various regions and structures of the human body as well as taping and strapping techniques to support and/or facilitate motion. The course consists primarily of labs with demonstration and supervised practice of techniques. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT course work or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 391. Graduate Independent Study. 1-3 Units.

PTHR 393. Special Topics. 1-4 Units.

PTHR 393C. Special Topics. 4 Units.

PTHR 398. Research Literature Review. 1 Unit.

This course helps the student apply the basic principles of research methods to the professional literature and to critically analyze new concepts and findings in that literature. The student chooses a research topic in health science, performs a literature search of primary research articles related to their topic, critically analyzes those research articles, and writes a related literature paper summarizing and synthesizing the information gathered from their literature research. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

Learning Outcomes

1. Students will demonstrate safety and competence with current clinical skills.
2. Students will demonstrate clinical reasoning that utilizes both the best available scientific evidence and the patient’s perspective.
3. Students will demonstrate cultural competence.
4. Students will demonstrate attributes consistent with effective leadership and advocacy.
5. Students will demonstrate accurate self-reflection, as indicated by the ability to evaluate their own performance of cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills for potential learning opportunities in the context of individual development and development of the physical therapy profession.
6. Students will demonstrate characteristics consistent with long-long learning.

Physical Therapy Faculty

Cathy Peterson, Professor & Chair, 2002, BS, University of Iowa, 1989; MSPT, Des Moines University, 1991; EdD, University of San Francisco, 2002.

Todd E. Davenport, Professor & Program Director, 2007, BS, Willamette University, 1998; DPT, University of Southern California, 2002; Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency, University of Southern California, 2003; MPH, University of California - Berkeley, 2015.

Alicia Rabena-Amen, Assistant Professor & Director of Clinical Education, 2018, BS, Mount St. Mary's College, 1995; MS, Mount St. Mary's College, 1998; DPT, Arcadia University, 2017

David Gillette, Assistant Professor, 2017, BA, University of Washington, 2001; DPT, University of Washington, 2009; Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency, University of Minnesota, 2009

Jim K. Mansoor, Professor, 1993, BA, California State University, Sacramento, 1980; MS, 1989; PhD, University of California, Davis, 1996.

Preeti D. Oza, Assistant Professor, 2013, BSc, 1995, MSc, University of Mumbai, India, 1998; PhD, The University of Iowa, 2007

Tamara L. Phelan, Professor, 2001, BS, Tennessee State University, 1993; MS, Ola Grimsby Institute, 1997; DMT, Ola Grimsby Institute, Inc., San Diego, CA, 2000; EdD, University of the Pacific, 2008.