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Physical Therapy Program Statement of Clinical Education Philosophy

Clinical education is an integral part of the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum at Carroll College. Clinical education is integrated into the curriculum in three ways. First, demonstrations of individuals with and without pathological conditions begin in the classroom through course experiences both on-site at the College and off-site at practice settings where students observe and have planned hands-on experiences. Second, these experiences are expanded in three teaching laboratory practices where students participate in campus community service learning wellness and prevention initiatives with underserved healthy individuals and individuals with disease and disability across the life span. The third component is three full-time internships in a variety of environments representative of contemporary physical therapy practice. All of these experiences are based on the student's level of academic preparation and are placed in the curriculum in such a way that the students will practice the skills as they are learning them in the classroom. Entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy students are expected to be active participants in clinical education by applying self assessment and ongoing learning techniques as they develop their skills.

It is the responsibility of the Physical Therapy Program to provide progressive clinical experiences for the student in both traditional and non-traditional settings. The program chooses the clinical sites on a regional basis and is active in developing clinical sites in under-served areas and settings.

It is the responsibility of the faculty to provide the student with access to a sufficient knowledge base to practice safely, efficiently and effectively and to judge the student's skill as adequate to participate in clinical education experiences. It is also the faculty's responsibility to provide on-going continuing education for the clinics through study of individual cases and presentation of appropriate material to the case from the perspective of the four tracts in the Carroll curriculum.

The program's Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE) coordinates the full-time internship experiences. The ACCE establishes contractual arrangements with our facilities and communicates in such a way that appropriate information is shared about curriculum and students. The ACCE keeps clinical sites aware of the curriculum and the appropriate level of expectation for student behavior during each internship. The ACCE provides the clinical sites with information about our philosophy and objectives, so that they will exemplify our philosophy by making our students aware of the clinical community's needs as well as by expecting them to function safely and effectively in a diverse and changing environment. The ACCE coordinates and reviews each student experience. The ACCE solicits input regarding the clinical education component of the program and the curriculum from other department faculty, the clinical community, the Clinical Instructor (CI) and Clinical Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE), program alumni, and program students.

It is the responsibility of the facility CCCE's and CI's to know and understand the internship course objectives, to provide an adequate patient load and experiences for the student, and to identify and document each student's level of practice during each internship. We ask the clinical sites to participate in the evaluation of our curriculum and of our clinical education program.

It is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the assigned CCCE and CI and ACCE as needed. The student is also responsible for achieving consistent entry level skill and knowledge by the termination of the clinical internships. Internships offer supervised opportunities for each student for student practice, however, it is only the student who can exhibit the skills, knowledge and professional behavior that is necessary for licensed practice.

Adopted by the Entry-Level Physical Therapy Program Faculty November, 1995
Revised and approved in July, 1996; November, 1999
Reviewed in January, 2000; January, 2001; June 2005

 
 
 
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