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Email: dpt@wju.edu
Phone: 304-243-7201


Clinical Education Overview



Statement of Purpose of Clinical Education

The purpose of the Clinical Education component of the curriculum is to provide the learner with structured interactions with persons of varying degrees of health status and disability. The Clinical Education experiences and professional behavior and activities bridge the knowledge and psychomotor skills learned in the academic setting to the real life clinical setting. Competent clinical educators design these interactions with progressively decreasing supervision in order to complete the students' emergence as competent entry-level practitioners. There is a Clinical Education Policy and Procedure manual to assist all stakeholders in any Clinical education experience in having the best possible experience.

Overview of the Clinical Education Experience

The Clinical Education program is comprised of four phases of supervised clinical experiences. The program is progressive in the type and range of clinical responsibilities expected of each student, and corresponds to the complexity of the didactic portion of the curriculum. Participation in any Clinical Education experience is contingent upon successful completion of the coursework and previous Clinical Education experiences. Students are supervised by licensed physical therapists, Clinical Instructors, in such settings as hospitals, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, rehabilitation facilities, pediatric clinics, sports medicine clinics, fitness centers, and outpatient facilities. Students participate in interdisciplinary case meetings and rounds.

Evaluation of Clinical Performance

Clinical Instructors are encouraged to provide feedback frequently to the students, and to the Directors of Clinical Education. Formal, written evaluations are scheduled at the mid-term and the conclusion of each Clinical Education experience. Each Clinical Instructor must complete the APTA Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument for Students: A Self-Guided Training course through the APTA Learning Center before completing the online CPI Web 2.0 for a student. A Clinical Instructor only needs to perform the training one time. A student in-service is required for each Clinical Education experience.

Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI Web 2.0)

A physical therapist student assessment system evaluates knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and incorporates multiple sources of information to make decisions about readiness to practice. The system is intended to enable clinical educators and academic faculty to obtain a comprehensive perspective of students' progress through the curriculum and competence to practice at entry-level. The adoption of the CPI Web 2.0 (APPENDIX H) will ensure that all practitioners entering practice have demonstrated a core set of clinical attributes.

The CPI is the central component of the evaluation of WJU students' clinical abilities, and is used by the University to ensure students' readiness for practice. The CPI is designed to evaluate student clinical performance in relation to entry-level competence and is to be completed by the supervising Clinical Instructor(s).

Each student and Clinical Instructor must complete the APTA Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument for Students: A Self-Guided Training Course available through the APTA Learning Center. This course must be successfully completed and passed in order to access the online CPI Web.

Sequence into Curriculum

The Clinical Education component of the Physical Therapy Program is initiated within the fourth term of the student's enrollment. Each succeeding experience encompasses increased use of student skills learned in the classroom with progressive responsibility for patient care placed on the student while supervised by the Clinical Instructor. The complete sequence of clinical progression is provided below.

Student Clinical Education Schedule - DPT Curriculum

TERM I
Summer

TERM II
Fall

TERM III
Spring

TERM IV
Summer

TERM V
Fall

TERM VI
Spring

TERM VII
Summer

TERM VIII
Fall

6 week
Online
Session

Completing
4 academic
modules

16 Weeks didactic

Service Learning I
half day session 1 day/wk.

 

17 weeks didactic

Service Learning II
half day session 1 day/wk.

 

13 weeks didactic

CE I
(8 weeks)

Service Learning III One week full-time


16 weeks didactic

CE II
(8 weeks)

8 weeks didactic

Service Learning IV
International
One week


8 weeks didactic

Capstone Week

Service Learning IV International One Week

CE III (10 weeks - completed in Term VIII)

CE III
(Completed in this term)


CE IV
(10 weeks)

Each Clinical Education experience consists of forty hours/week. The clinical site establishes the working hours. Skills learned in preceding terms are practiced under the supervision of a Clinical Instructor

CE I DPT 638:
This is the first full time Clinical Education experience within the DPT curriculum. The students participate in eight weeks of full-time clinical experience for a total of 320 hours during the first 8 weeks of Term IV. This experience can be in the acute care, skilled, long term care, long term acute care, home health, or out-patient settings. The PBL cases that have been introduced into the curriculum up to this point can be found in the CE I Clinical Education course syllabus. The focus of this experience will be on the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention and outcomes for patients in their respective settings with a variety of impairments leading to activity and participation limitations.

CE II DPT 658:
This is the second full time Clinical Education experience within the DPT curriculum. The students participate in eight weeks of full-time clinical experience for a total of 320 hours during the first 8 weeks of Term VI. This experience can be in the acute care, skilled, long term care, long term acute care, home health, or out-patient settings. The PBL cases that have been introduced into the curriculum up to this point can be found in the CE II Clinical Education course syllabus. The focus of this experience will be to advance the skills learned and practiced during CE I. The student should require less supervision and show an increase his/her case load. The student should be more confident with his/her affective and psychomotor skills.

CE III DPT 668a:
This is the third full time Clinical Education experience within the DPT curriculum. The students have completed all of their didactic coursework at this point. The students participate in 10 weeks of full-time clinical experience for a total of 400 hours. CE III spans Term VII and Term VIII. This experience can be in the acute care, skilled, long term care, long term acute care, home health, rehabilitation, out-patient, pediatric, manual therapy, sports medicine or specialty settings. All PBL cases have been introduced into the curriculum at this point and can be found in the CE III clinical education course syllabus. The focus of this experience will be to advance the skills learned and practiced during CE I and II. The student should be capable of functioning without guidance or clinical supervision and be capable of maintaining 100% of a full time physical therapist's caseload. The student should be confident with his/her affective and psychomotor skills. The student should be practicing at entry-level at the completion of this clinical experience.

CE IV DPT 668b:
This is the fourth and final full time Clinical Education experience within the DPT curriculum. The students have completed all of their didactic coursework at this point and have successfully completed one 10 week final Clinical Education experience. The students participate in 10 weeks of full-time clinical experience for a total of 400 hours during Term VIII. This experience can be in the acute care, skilled, long term care, long term acute care, home health, rehabilitation, out-patient, pediatric, manual therapy, sports medicine or specialty settings. All PBL cases have been introduced into the curriculum at this point and can be found in the CE IV clinical education course syllabus. The focus of this experience will be to advance the skills learned and practiced during CE I, II, and III. The student should be capable of functioning without guidance or clinical supervision and be capable of maintaining 100% of a full time physical therapist's caseload. The student should be confident with his/her affective and psychomotor skills. The student should be practicing at or beyond entry-level at the completion of this clinical experience. The student will graduate and should be capable of autonomous practice at the completion of this Clinical Education experience.

Clinical Education Requirements:

Throughout each student's tenure in the program, he/she is required to complete one Clinical Education experience in each of the following settings: acute care, skilled care/home health, out-patient and one setting of the student's choice. For the choice setting, a student can repeat a setting or complete an experience in a specialty setting such as women's health, sports medicine, pediatrics, wound care or rehabilitation.

All students are expected to travel outside of the Wheeling area (60 mile radius) for at least one Clinical Education experience. The student may work with the Directors of Clinical Education and Center Coordinator for Clinical Education to make living arrangements, but this is ultimately the student's responsibility.

Each student will fill out his/her a Preference Form from a list of available sites provided by the Directors of Clinical Education for each Clinical Education experience. Preferences are considered for each student: however, this does not guarantee final placement. The educational needs of each student is always first priority. All student placements are with a live lottery.

A student will not be assigned to a site where he/she has worked as a volunteer or employee; a site with which he/she has a pre-employment contract or financial agreement (scholarship); a site where a direct relative is employed in the physical therapy department (parent, sibling, and/or grandparent).

Students are not permitted to solicit Clinical Education placements independently. All requests must be handled by the Directors of Clinical Education who will explore the appropriateness and feasibility of the requests. Failure to follow this policy will result in the inability to pursue this request.





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