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College of Health Sciences

Downers Grove, IL Campus

Course Descriptions

Physical Therapy Program

Prerequisites are listed for those courses with such requirements. When no prerequisite is listed for a course description, it is implied that there is no prerequisite.

Abbreviation/Number
Course Name

ANAT 1500

Human Gross Anatomy and Embryology

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This course presents lectures and cadaver dissection laboratories emphasing the normal structure of the human body; the embryologic basis of adult anatomy; the relationship between structure and function; and the use of human gross anatomy in physical diagnosis.

Credits: 7

BIOC 1553

Cell and Tissue Structure and Function

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This course provides an introduction to cell and tissue biology and metabolism, focusing on the structure and function of normal human tissue and organs. The student gains a basic science framework to apply to physical therapy intervention. Application of this material helps students understand: 1) growth and development of human cells, tissues, organs and organ systems; 2) functional differences in cells, tissues, organs and organ systems; 3) tissue healing and repair; 4) response of tissue to therapeutic intervention.

Credits: 2

CORE 1599

Interprofessional Education I

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Changes in our healthcare delivery system are creating a growing demand for health professionals with skills in collaboration and teamwork. This course will describe the roles and responsibilities of the various healthcare disciplines. It will also provide students, from different health professions, the opportunity to interact with one another as well as simulated patients. This collaboration will promote communication using a team-based approach to the maintenance of health and management of disease.

Credits: 1

PHYS 1510, 1511

Human Physiology I, II

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Students are introduced to the physiological principles and regulatory processes that underlie the normal function of the human body and develop an understanding of the physiologic responses to perturbations of homeostasis and of pathophysiologic alterations that occur in disease. Didactic lectures are supplemented with workshops that focus on application of physiological concepts. Topics include the properties of excitable cells and the function of the neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, digestive, endocrine and reproductive systems.

Credits: Each Course 3.5

PHYS 1637

Exercise Physiology

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Physiologic factors relevant to responses and adaptations to exercise across the life span are presented. Analysis of the metabolic, cardiorespiratory, and musculoskeletal systems to prescribe and grade exercise is emphasized. Workshops are utilized to facilitate integration of principles of exercise physiology with clinical practice.

Credits: 3

PTHE  1503

Clinical Problem Solving I

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This course introduces theoretical frameworks for clinical problem-solving and develops the student's level of clinical reasoning. Students analyze clinical problems by identifying critical cues, gathering information, developing hypotheses, testing hypotheses, and analyzing results. The concept of evidence–based practice is introduced to students as part of the clinical reasoning process. Accessing, organizing, using, and citing healthcare literature, assessing levels of evidence, and mapping clinical concepts are applied to physical therapist practice.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1509

Medical Terminology

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This course provides a basic introduction to medical terminology with a focus on body systems. Students complete 13 online modules that incorporate recognition and assessment of medical terms. Assessment of student learning occurs through a series of 13 self-paced quizzes. This course is required early in the curriculum to facilitate communication in subsequent courses and clinical assignments.

Credits: 0.5

PTHE 1511

Biopsychosocial Issues in Healthcare

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This course introduces the student to behavioral medicine and the biopsychosocial issues that impact a patient's health and wellness. Environmental and developmental influences and the biological/sociocultural determinants of behavior are explored. Special patient issues including the health challenges of obesity, substance abuse, interpersonal violence, aging, and issues of sexuality are covered. Emphasis is placed on patient care and the importance of effective practitioner-patient interaction.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1512

Health Professionalism I

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This course provides an introduction to professional behavior, systems and issues in healthcare delivery, and healthcare team members. The perspective of the patient/client is emphasized. Principles of confidentiality, professional ethics, standards of practice, patient rights, the Illinois Physical Therapy Act, and the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice are discussed. A combination of lecture, discussion, off-campus field experiences, and presentations will be used in the course.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1513

Physical Therapy Roles and Professional Issues I

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This course, the first of three analyzing professionalism within physical therapist practice, emphasizes the roles and responsibilities of the physical therapist as clinician, educator, supervisor, consultant and scholarly writer. Students analyze professional issues such as professional associations, regulatory agencies, professional values, ethics, legal practice, professional development, autonomous practice, direct access, advocacy, legislative processes, and payment for services. This course uses lecture, discussion, and structured projects.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1514

Education Principles

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This course provides the foundation for systematically designing, implementing and evaluating learning experiences. Topics include educational roles, learning and teaching principles, needs assessment, goal setting, writing objectives, instructional strategies, group facilitation, patient/family education, academic and peer professional teaching, evaluation of teaching and learning and a unit on scholarly writing. This course uses lecture, discussion, structured projects and simulated teaching.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1515

Research

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Physical therapy practice embraces an evidence-based approach. This multidisciplinary course provides students with a basic understanding of the research process from the standpoint of a consumer of research. The core multidisciplinary research course is supplemented with weekly breakout sessions aimed at providing additional research-related material and examples relevant to physical therapy.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1521

Preparation for Clinical Education I

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This course introduces the concepts of written and oral professional communication and provides opportunities for practice of skills in communication, time management, supervision and delegation, patient evaluation, infection control/universal precautions, cardiopulmonary resuscitation/first aid, mobility training, and patient education in simulated physical therapy practice environments. It also provides the opportunity to appreciate the perspective of patients/families.

Credits: 1.5

PTHE 1527

Clinical Conditions I

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This course introduces students to general pathology including environmental and genetic causes of disease as well as molecular, cellular, organ and whole body effects of common disorders. Speakers discuss the diagnosis and medical and surgical management of patients with common disorders seen in physical therapy practice. In addition, the course introduces students to medical imaging theory and application.

Credits: 4

PTHE 1532

Human Neuroscience

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This course is the first of two neuroscience courses. This course provides students with the ability to identify and describe the principal structural components and corresponding functions of the nervous system, correlate nervous system lesions with neurological deficits/dysfunction seen in clinical practice, correlate neurological examination with structural components, and begin to relate neurophysiology with the theoretical basis for therapeutic approaches. This course uses lecture, laboratory sessions, and case studies.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1545

Life Span Human Development

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Inter-relationships of physical, psychological, and social development across the life span are examined and related to physical therapy patient management. Development of functional movement and of the body systems supporting movement are analyzed. Standardized motor and functional assessment instruments for specific age groups are reviewed and selected tests administered. Students design wellness/fitness programs for infants, children, adolescents and older adults. The course includes lecture, laboratory, discussion, and independent study.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1552

Health Promotion I

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This course provides a conceptual framework for health promotion and disease/injury prevention across the life span, and discusses definitions of health promotion and disease/injury prevention; risk and its relation to disease; assessment of risk; interventions to promote health; constraints to health education programming including cultural issues, disability; evaluation of health promotion and disease/injury prevention programs; and the current roles of physical therapists and other health practitioners in health promotion and disease prevention.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1565

Physical Therapy Interventions I

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This course covers the design, implementation, and modification of basic interventions for existing/potential mobility problems at both the impairment and disability levels. Selected principles of and techniques for body mechanics, patient handling, positioning and draping, bed mobility, transfers, gait, wheelchair prescription and mobility, positional/transitional equipment use, bandaging, range-of-motion exercise, and soft tissue treatment are addressed. Lecture, laboratory, and clinical visits are included.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1566

Physical Therapy Interventions II

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This course presents physical therapy interventions including isometric, isotonic, isokinetic, eccentric and concentric strengthening activities; active and passive stretching; proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF); principles of musculoskeletal treatment and joint mobilization. Selected clinical conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand within a physical therapy framework are addressed. This course includes lecture, group discussions, and laboratory sessions.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1577

Physical Therapy Evaluation I

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This course provides the foundation for physical therapy evaluation including history, systems review, tests/measures, prognosis, differential diagnosis, physical therapy impression, identification of patient problems, goals and intervention plans. Students gain skill in patient questioning and history taking, examination of pain, vital signs, posture, palpation skill, anthropometric and goniometric measurement, manual muscle strength testing, sensory examination and documentation skills. Lecture and laboratory formats are used.

Credits: 4

PTHE 1578

Physical Therapy Evaluation II

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This course builds on the principles introduced in Physical Therapy Evaluation I, focusing on the identification of dysfunction in specific regions of the body including the upper and lower limbs, the spine, pelvis and the temporomandibular joint using special tests, joint examination procedures, strength testing devices, functional assessment and neurodynamic evaluation. Students select appropriate special tests and examination procedures to identify musculoskeletal diagnoses. A combination of lecture, laboratory, and discussion sessions are used.

Credits: 4

PTHE 1582

Kinesiology/Biomechanics I

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This course addresses the recognition, description and analysis of the components of normal movement in static and dynamic activities, applying basic theories of mechanics of normal tissue, structure and properties of connective tissue, and general joint relationships. Normal joint mechanics for the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, and interrelationships between the anatomical structure and the normal kinematic behavior of joints are discussed. Theories of motor learning and motor control influencing activity of the musculoskeletal system are introduced.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1584

Kinesiology/Biomechanics II

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This course is a continuation of the principles and theories introduced in Kinesiology/Biomechanics I. Students will be able to recognize and describe basic theories of mechanics and the components of normal movement in static and dynamic states as it relates to the spine, temporomandibular joint, lower extremity, and gait activities. Course content includes the interrelationships between anatomical structure and normal kinematic behavior of joints, muscle function, and human gait. Also, foundations for analyzing and identifying the components of gait are covered.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1601

Cardiopulmonary Evaluation and Treatment

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This course provides students with the knowledge and skill to evaluate and treat clients with cardiopulmonary disorders. The role of the physical therapist in the acute care setting is highlighted and students learn evaluation & intervention techniques in both lecture and laboratory sessions. The level of evidence for various techniques, the effect of exercise on the cardiopulmonary system and contraindications for physical therapy are discussed.

Credits: 4

PTHE 1605

Clinical Problem Solving II

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This course is designed to reinforce and enhance the reasoning process used to make clinical decisions. The course includes in depth analysis of planning the history gathering process, planning the tests and measures including a formal functional outcome assessment, forming a physical therapy impression, developing an intervention plan and re-evaluation plan as applied to a patient with a musculoskeletal condition. Communication to physicians regarding clinical impressions is also included.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1607

Scholarship in Physical Therapy

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This course consists of participation and presentation in a "professional" journal club related to physical therapy. The course meets once/quarter starting in the first spring, and runs through the second winter of the program. Journal club meetings consist of review and discussion sessions of scientific evidence (journal articles) led by students. The journal club provides exposure to a variety of research designs.

Credits: 1

PTHE 1608

Orthotics

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This course introduces students to the use of orthoses to improve function as a result of impairment of the upper extremity, lower extremity, or spine. Components, materials, design, fabrication, fitting, alignment, prescription, training, and total patient management are discussed. Emphasis is placed on lower extremity orthotics, development of basic analytical and psychomotor skills for adapting tools, equipment, environments, and activities to enhance function as well as design and fabrication of orthoses.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1622

Preparation for Clinical Education II

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This course continues discussion of concepts of written and oral professional communication and provides opportunities for practice of skills in communication, time management, supervision and delegation, patient evaluation, infection control/universal precautions, cardiopulmonary resuscitation/first aid, mobility training, and patient education in simulated physical therapy practice environments. It also provides the opportunity to appreciate the perspective of patients/families.

Credits: 1

PTHE 1628

Clinical Conditions II

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Students learn about the medical management of central nervous system, cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders as well as other common conditions. Risk factors, clinical signs and symptoms and differential diagnoses are some of the issues addressed. Lectures are combined with weekly problem-based learning sessions to promote critical thinking and an evidence-based approach to treatment.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1633

Applied Neuroscience

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This course is the second of two neuroscience courses. This course provides students with the ability to identify and describe the structural components and corresponding functions of the nervous system and to correlate nervous system lesions with neurological deficits. This course also begins to analyze the traditional and contemporary neurotherapeutic approaches used as the foundation to evaluate and treat patients with neurologic dysfunction. The material is delivered using lecture, laboratory sessions, and case studies.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1638

Physical Agents I

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This course addresses the theoretical principles of physiological and neurophysiological changes that occur as a result of the application of physical modalities. Students will develop skill in application of these modalities including superficial/deep heating agents, cold agents, light therapies and external compression. Content includes manipulation of agent parameters in order to perform an effective and efficient treatment given patient variables. In addition, the course addresses the evaluation and care of the integument system including wound care and lymphatic conditions.

Credits: 4

PTHE 1639

Physical Agents II

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This course is a continuation of Physical Agents I addressing application of additional physical agents, and introducing electrotherapeutic modalities that are used in physical therapy practice. Electrotherapy for muscle strengthening, improved function, motor control, pain management and surface electromyography is discussed with emphasis on manipulation of equipment parameters for safe and effective application of these modalities. Electrophysiologic evaluation in physical therapy practice is introduced as well as basic principles of aquatic therapy.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1651

Management in Physical Therapy Systems

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This is the first of two courses devoted to management in physical therapy settings. The course provides a foundation in healthcare environments and delivery systems, personnel management, organizational structures and systems, supervision, leadership, fiscal management, reimbursement and documentation, sales and marketing, legal issues, risk management and outcomes measurement and management. The course uses a combination of lecture, interactive seminar, discussion and student presentations.

Credits: 4

PTHE 1667

Physical Therapy Interventions III

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This course builds on the principles introduced in Physical Therapy Interventions II and applies those principles to the spinal, temporomandibular, pelvic, and lower extremity joints. Clinical conditions affecting these areas of the body will be discussed as they relate to developing physical therapy intervention plans. Additional course content includes manual and mechanical spinal traction, spinal stabilization and ergonomic training as parts of physical therapy intervention. A combination of lecture, laboratory and discussion sessions are in this course.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1668

Physical Therapy Interventions IV

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This is the fourth course in the Physical Therapy Interventions series. Content includes the design and implementation of a complete treatment plan for adults and children with neurological dysfunction. Topics include: use of motor control theory in the development of the treatment plan, implementation of treatment strategies and techniques for the attainment of functional goals, and practice of therapeutic interventions for the improvement of balance, vestibular disorders, posture, gait, and functional activities. Lecture, lab, and problem-based formats will be used.

Credits: 5

PTHE 1679

Physical Therapy Evaluation III

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This is the third course in the Physical Therapy Evaluation series. Content includes examination of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities in adults and children with neurological dysfunction. Topics include: motor control, muscle performance, reflex integrity, coordination, balance, vestibular system, functional mobility, gait, arousal and cognition, and home assessment. Students will learn how to select, execute, and modify examination procedures in order to complete the neurological evaluation. Lecture and laboratory formats will be used in this course.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1685

Practicum I

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This course is a three-week, full-time, supervised clinical practice in a healthcare environment. Students practice skills in communication, patient evaluation and management, infection control/standard precautions, and patient education.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1686

Practicum II

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This course is a ten week, full-time, supervised clinical practice in a healthcare environment. Students earn 1 credit for each 40 hour week of clinic work. The course includes a project on serving underserved populations and/or cultural competence in healthcare. Students earn 1 credit for the project.

Credits: 11

PTHE 1708

Scholarly Development in Physical Therapy

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Students develop an evidence-based, publishable quality case report or systematic review. Students meet with their faculty advisor prior to Practicum II and work closely with the advisor writing up the case report or review, with an expectation that preliminary drafts will be submitted to the advisor. After the written report is accepted, projects are presented orally as either a platform or poster presentation.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1709

Clinical Problem Solving III

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This is the last course in a 3 course series, designed to reinforce and enhance the reasoning process used to make clinical decisions. In this course, clinical problem solving and patient management decisions focus on children and adults who present with neurologic dysfunction, in acute care settings, or with complex medical conditions. The course format emphasizes the efficient use of evidence-based practice within the context of clinical physical therapy practice.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1711

Prosthetics

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This course introduces students to the use of upper and lower extremity prostheses. Components, materials, design, fitting, alignment, prescription, training, and total patient management are discussed. Emphasis is placed on lower extremity prostheses, development of basic analytical and psychomotor skills for adapting tools, equipment, environments, and activities to enhance function. A combination of lecture, discussion, laboratory, individual projects, and readings are used to achieve the course objectives.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1715

Physical Therapy Roles and Professional Issues II

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This is the second in a series of three courses that analyze professionalism within physical therapist practice. The course focuses on the multiple roles, responsibilities and opportunities related to international practice, clinical instruction, delegation to and supervision of physical therapist assistants and physical therapy aides, licensure and regulation, employment and career development, and professional service and social responsibility. This course uses a combination of lecture, debate, and case analysis to analyze the depth and breadth of professional issues.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1716

Physical Therapy Roles and Professional Issues III

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This is the third in a series of three courses that analyze professionalism within physical therapist practice. In this course, students gain practical experience as supervisors and consultants. Students also reflect on and evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness in these roles. Independent study methods are used to achieve the course objectives.

Credits: 1

PTHE 1729

Essentials of Pharmacology for Physical Therapists

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This course introduces students to pharmacological intervention in patient management. The course describes basic drug-receptor interactions, dose-response curves and absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and storage of drugs within the body. The course format is a combination of lecture, case-based learning and independent study. Weekly quizzes and some discussions are online.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1746

Pediatric Physical Therapy

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This course expands on pediatric physical therapy management and introduces principles of physical therapy practice with infants and children across settings: neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), early intervention (EI), schools, and outpatient rehabilitation facilities. Physical therapy management of children with common pediatric conditions will be introduced. Issues related to IDEA legislation (Parts B and C) will be discussed and applied to patient management plans. Lecture, laboratory experiences, and a case-based project facilitate learning in this course.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1747

Human Anatomy II

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This lab based course will examine, in detail, the anatomical structures of the extremities, head and trunk. Bones, joint structures, muscles, nerves and vessels and their relationship to joint movement and function will be emphasized. Information about these structures and their function will be applied to clinical issues that relate to human movement, structural impairment and physical therapy assessment and treatment. Self-directed learning is an expectation of this course.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1750

Topics in Physical Therapy Practice

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This course addresses practice issues in three broad categories. Principles of critical inquiry are applied to clinical decision making skills when evaluating different approaches to physical therapy. Students research and present the strengths and weaknesses of varied approaches (i.e., kinesiotaping, rolfing, Tai Chi, ASTYM, ankle and knee bracing, etc.). The second category explores practice issues related to industrial medicine, women's health, pelvic floor dysfunction, chronic pain and joint replacement. The third category discusses evaluation and intervention for older adults.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1752

Applied Management Skills in Physical Therapy Systems

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Students apply principles from PTHE 1651: Management in Physical Therapy Systems. Structured around the development of a strategic plan for a rehabilitation product or service, this course includes forming and integrating organization, marketing, sales, management, production/service, financial and evaluation strategies. Student teams design a strategic plan provided by community facilities. Students present their strategic plans via a written report and an oral presentation. This course utilizes seminar, discussion, and lecture.

Credits: 3

PTHE 1753

Health Promotion II

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In this course students apply principles presented in Health Promotion I and principles of teaching and learning. The students plan, implement, and evaluate a health promotion and/or disease/injury prevention program for a community group in need of wellness or prevention services under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Each group provides an oral presentation to their classmates focusing on an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of their program. This class is a combination of independent study and discussion.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1769

Physical Therapy Interventions V

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This course continues the focus on the design, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive treatment plans for adults with neurological dysfunction. Therapeutic management of persons with spinal cord injury, cerebellar dysfunction, progressive neurological disorders, and headaches/concussion symptoms is discussed. Application of motor learning principles (practice and feedback) will be considered through a case scenario format. Students will be expected to develop and execute treatments for patients with neurologic dysfunction.

Credits: 2

PTHE 1787

Practicum III

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This course is a ten-week, full-time, supervised clinical practice in a healthcare environment. Students earn 1 credit for each 40 hour week of clinic work. The course includes an independent study component that utilizes evidence based practice to answer a clinical question. Students earn 1 credit for the evidence based practice project. For either Practicum III or Practicum IV, students will submit one article review to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) "Hooked on Evidence" database.

Credits: 11

PTHE 1788

Practicum IV

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This course is a ten-week, full-time, supervised clinical practice in a healthcare environment. Students earn 1 credit for each 40 hour week of clinic work. The course includes an independent study component that utilizes evidence based practice to answer a clinical question. Students earn 1 credit for the evidence based practice project. For either Practicum III or Practicum IV, students will submit one article review to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) "Hooked on Evidence" database.

Credits: 11