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Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

PHT5806-Clinical Practicum

Credits : 1

Contact Hours: Clinical assignment once weekly 8:30 am – 12:00 noon (unless otherwise notified) for 14 weeks Lecture and discussion sessions as scheduled

Course Instructor: Director of Clinical Education & Assistant Director of Clinical Education Clinical Instructors as assigned at individual clinical sites


Course Description: This course is designed to facilitate the integration of clinical skills taught in the academic setting, to allow students to observe and practice those skills in a clinical environment, and to assist students in developing a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the physical therapist in clinical settings.


Prerequisites: Successful completion of previous courses in the DPT curriculum. Clinical Prerequisites: documentation of the following:

  • Background Check completed through CastleBranch
  • 10-panel Drug Screen
  • Up-to-date BLS certification
  • Yearly health examination
  • MMR immunization proof
  • Tuberculosis check: Written proof of negative Tb skin test within twelve months, or chest xray within three years
  • Hepatitis B: Written proof of immunity via titer, or a signed waiver
  • Varicella: Written proof of immunity via titer
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria immunization
  • Professional Liability Insurance – provided by UNF
  • Additional requirements may be imposed by the clinical site.

Instructional Methods: Students receive clinical mentoring by a licensed physical therapist at their assigned clinical internship site. Students are expected to demonstrate adult learning behaviors by seeking out learning opportunities and clearly communicating goals and expectations to clinical mentors and faculty.


Self-Assessment Activities: Students are expected to establish individual goals, review goals with on-site clinical instructors, and evaluate their personal performances. In addition, students will be expected to complete a reflection assignment to help them question their own actions, define moments of success and/or failure, and validate their professional development. Students will be expected to participate in an informational session, a debriefing group meeting held around the end of the semester, and other sessions as scheduled.


Attendance and Punctuality: Due to the nature of this experience, much of the learning takes place during the clinical sessions. Attendance is expected for all scheduled classes and clinical sessions. The Physical Therapy Program at the University of North Florida strongly believes that professional behavior patterns begin during the student’s academic preparation and continue in the clinical setting. Students are expected to notify both the course instructor and the clinical instructor in advance in the event of an absence from the scheduled session. If a student must miss a clinical session due to an unavoidable emergency, student should attempt to work with the clinical instructor to schedule a time to make up the lost hours. If a student is ill and feel his/her presence would put patients at risk, the student must notify the clinical instructor prior to the start of the assigned session. Make-up sessions will be at the discretion of the instructor. Punctuality is important in both clinical sessions and in the classroom. Students are expected to arrive on time (this is defined as 15 minutes prior to the scheduled clinical session and prior to the instructor initiating the session). If a student is absent from a clinical session without notification, continuance at the setting will be at the discretion of the course instructor and the clinical instructor. If a student is late, he/she will receive a written warning.


Dress Code: Students will be expected to be appropriately dressed. For this course appropriate is defined as UNF PT Program Polo shirt, solid color pants (no denim), UNF PT Program name tag, and closed-toed shoes. For student and patient safety, long, dangling earrings or large loop earrings are not allowed. Hair should be pulled back if it will potentially dangle when leaning over. Artificial fingernails are not allowed.


Disability Statement: If for any reason a student is concerned about meeting the objectives and expectations of this course, the student shall notify the instructors within five (5) weekdays of the start of class so that accommodations may be implemented where indicated. Students with disabilities who seek reasonable accommodations in the classroom or other aspects of performing their coursework must register with the UNF Student Accessibility Services (SAS) located in Building 57, Room 1500. SAS staff members work with students to obtain required documentation of disability and to identify appropriate accommodations as required by applicable disability laws including the American with Disability Act (ADA). After receiving all necessary documentation, the SAS staff determines whether a student qualifies for services with SAS and if so, the accommodations the student needs will be provided. SAS staff prepares a letter for the student to provide faculty advising them of approved accommodations. For further information, contact the SAS by phone (904) 620-2769, email (, or visit the SAS website (


Evaluation Methods: 


Criteria %
Attendance at all class meetings scheduled before, during, and after experience 5%
Attendance at all scheduled clinical sessions 30%
Adherence to professional, legal, and ethical standards of practice 20%
Week 1 Forms, Discussion boards, Misc Assignments 10%
Satisfactory completion of all items on Student Evaluation Form

as determined by the DCE and/or ADCE in conjunction with the CI

Final reflection paper 15%
Total 100%



Upon completion of this course the student should be able to:

  1. Identify the need for effective time management in the clinical environment. (1.0) (CC-5.1, CC-5.2)
  2. Begin to communicate in a professional manner with professional and support staff at a level appropriate to the experience. (1.0) (CC-5.11, CC-5.17, CC-5.18, CC-5.40)
  3. Observe the foundations of safe, professional, ethical and legal practice. (1.0) (CC-5.1, CC-5.2, CC-5.3, CC-5.10, CC-5.11)
  4. Adhere to proper body mechanics and safety procedures at all times. (2.0) (CC-5.43)
  5. Apply patient confidentiality practices and HIPAA regulations. (3.0) (CC-5.1, CC-5.3, CC-5.11, CC-5.10)
  6. Determine factors that may affect communication with patients, therapists, and physicians, and develop strategies that will aid in communication and facilitate learning. (3.0) (CC-5.17, CC-5.18, CC-5.8, CC-5.9, CC-5.11)
  7. Demonstrate ability to gather and communicate pertinent patient information contained in the medical record. (3.0) (CC-5.1, CC-5.31, CC-5.42)
  8. Implement basic patient interventions and instructions as assigned by the Clinical Instructor.(3.0) (CC-5.39, CC-5.41)
  9. Reflect on experiences and reactions in the clinical environment; consider steps to take in adjusting future reactions. (5.0) (CC-5.4, CC-5.12)

Academic Integrity Code And Academic Misconduct Policies:

Students are expected to abide by the graduate school’s policy on academic integrity. The academic integrity of UNF and the Physical Therapy Program will be strictly enforced. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: Cheating, Fabrication and Falsification, Multiple Submissions, Plagiarism, Abuse of Academic Materials, and Complicity in Academic Dishonesty. Adherence to this policy is consistent with behaviors expected of a health care professional and reinforces the APTA Code of Ethics that forms the foundation for ethical practice of physical therapy. Failure to abide by the UNF policy on academic integrity will result in immediate dismissal from the Physical Therapy Program.



  • Orientation to Clinical Education Practicum
  • Wednesdays at scheduled times throughout spring semester
  • Meeting scheduled during and after experience for wrap-up and assessment 

The above schedule, policies, and assignments in this course are subject to change. 


Revised Jan 2017