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DPT Course Descriptions

Semester One

DPT 0700 Physical Therapy Fundamentals (4 credits)
This course is designed to prepare the student for patient care activities including patient-centered communication, assessing vital signs, body mechanics awareness, patient positioning and draping, transfers, assistive device training, and basic exercise. Learners will be introduced to fundamental physical therapy skills for various clinical settings and a patient management framework used throughout the curriculum. Psychomotor skills that are foundational to examination and evaluation are introduced, including vital signs, goniometry, range of motion, muscle testing, and anthropometric measures. Students will begin to develop patient interview and documentation skills, perform examination tests and measures, and use standardized patient outcome measures.
Prerequisite: Admission to Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

DPT 0711 Evidence-based Practice I (2 credits)
This course introduces the foundation to general research and evidence-based principles by exploring research methodologies and outcome measures used in health care. Introduces foundational concepts of scientific inquiry for clinicians with creating clinical questions, searches appropriate literature sources, and assesses the evidence quality.
Prerequisite: Admission to Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

DPT 0703 Human Physiology (3 credits)
This course explores the physiology and pathophysiology of the cellular, integumentary, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, and pulmonary systems. Studies medical physiologic principles necessary for physical activity and the associated effects of physical activity on health and wellness across the lifespan.
Prerequisite: Admission to Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

DPT 0705 Human Anatomy I (4 credits)
This course introduces foundational knowledge of gross anatomy and neuroanatomy. Explores clinical application of embryology, histology, and joint structure and function and the forces that affect human movement across the lifespan of the lower quarter. Laboratory experiences include 3-dimensional anatomy software, living/surface anatomy, synthetic human anatomical models, and cadaver prosections. This course addresses the content of the anatomical regions, including the lumbar spine, pelvis, and lower extremities. Emphasis is on the neuromuscular and musculoskeletal anatomy.
Prerequisite: Admission to Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

DPT 0707 Human Anatomy II (4 credits)
This course expands foundational knowledge of gross anatomy and neuroanatomy. Explores clinical application of embryology, histology, and joint structure and function and the forces that affect human movement across the lifespan of the upper quarter. Laboratory experiences include 3-dimensional anatomy software, living/surface anatomy, synthetic human anatomical models, and cadaver prosections. This course addresses the content of the anatomical regions, including cervical/thoracic spines, thorax, and upper extremities.
Prerequisite: Admission to Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

DPT 0710 Professional Competencies I (1 credit)
The course defines professional conduct and application of generic skills as they relate to the practice of physical therapy. Throughout this course, students explore the interprofessional roles and responsibilities of the healthcare team, including those of the physical therapist. This course highlights the importance of communication (verbal, nonverbal, and written), individual and cultural differences, professional behavior and abilities, ethics, legal issues, scope of practice, and responsibility for professional development and is designed to prepare students for the professional curriculum and clinical practice.
Prerequisite: Admission to Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

DPT 0713 Movement Sciences (3 credits)
This course introduces the student to the fundamentals of movement science, offers a framework for understanding normal and abnormal movement, and includes concepts of kinesiology, neuroscience, physiology, motor control, and motor learning. The course will integrate theory and basic principles of motor behavior, motor development, motor control, and motor learning as they relate to human motor performance and gait across the lifespan. Emphasis is on the integration of theory, structured movement analyses of activities performed in daily life, and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model to inform clinical decision making in physical therapist practice.
Prerequisite: Admission to Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

DPT 0715 Therapeutic Interventions I (3 credits)
This course introduces and integrates musculoskeletal biomechanical principles to joint structure and function, movement analysis, and therapeutic interventions. Introduces the principles and application of therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, and selected physical agents for the management of patients with pain and mobility impairments. Integrates current evidence and clinical decision-making to emphasize appropriate selection, instruction, and progression of interventions.
Prerequisite: Admission to Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Semester Two

DPT 0730 Musculoskeletal Practice I (5 credits)
This course initiates examination, evaluation, and treatment sequence of the neuro-musculoskeletal system. This course provides the fundamentals of examination and treatment that will be utilized across the series. This course emphasizes the clinical application of biomechanics, functional movement, and examination principles for musculoskeletal dysfunction specific to the lumbar spine, pelvis, and hip regions. Concentrates on the application of psychomotor skills related to regional palpation, examination, and evidence-based interventions emphasizing patient education, manual physical therapy, and therapeutic exercise in a patient-centered approach across the lifespan. This course begins the development of critical thinking and reasoning strategies through clinical presentations and management.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 1 courses

DPT 0732 Musculoskeletal Practice II (4 credits)
This is the second course in the examination, evaluation, and treatment sequence of the neuro-musculoskeletal system. This course explores the clinical application of biomechanics, functional movement, and examination principles for musculoskeletal dysfunction of the lower extremities. Concentrates on the application of psychomotor skills related to regional palpation, examination, and evidence-based interventions emphasizing patient education, manual physical therapy, and therapeutic exercise in a patient-centered approach across the lifespan. This course begins the development of critical thinking and reasoning strategies through clinical presentations and management.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 1 courses

DPT 0718 Health Promotion and Fitness Management (3 credits)
This course introduces prevention health, wellness, and fitness as they relate to injury prevention, nutritional influences, fitness testing, and exercise prescription in a healthy population. Students develop injury prevention and exercise programs based on test results and adapt the execution to specific healthy populations using proper clinical procedures.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 1 courses

DPT 0709 Clinical Neuroscience (4 credits)
This course explores the neuroscience of the movement system, with emphasis on the neuroanatomical structures and neurophysiological functions of the motor and sensory systems that regulate movement. Lab activities emphasize elements of the neurologic examination and an introduction to common outcome measures and assessment tools.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 1 courses

DPT 0725 Therapeutic Interventions II (2 credits)
This course introduces the principles and application of selected physical agents for the management of patients with pain and tissue injury while addressing impairments related to mobility, strength, and motor control. Integrates current evidence and clinical decision-making to emphasize appropriate selection, instruction, and progression of interventions.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 1 courses

DPT 0728 Bracing, Orthotics & Prosthetics (2 credits)
This course provides a foundation for decision making relating to the use of bracing/orthotics/prosthetics in physical therapy practice. The course will introduce concepts of materials, design, fabrication and technology of braces/orthotic/prosthetic devices. The course will emphasize the principles of gait analysis, limb amputation, wearing/fitting of orthotics/prosthetics, importance of therapeutic alliance and interprofessional collaboration, and the psychological considerations of the patient with orthotic/prosthetic devices.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 1 courses

DPT 0764 Pharmacology (2 credits)
This course introduces pharmacologic principles, the study of prescription and/or over-the-counter medications use in the management of a variety of patient conditions encountered during physical therapy management, and their impact on patient management across the lifespan. The impact of medications on patient presentations, timing of rehabilitation sessions, and physical therapy outcomes are emphasized. Content included cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, urogenital, rheumatologic, and integumentary systems.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 1 courses

Semester Three

DPT 0734 Musculoskeletal Practice III (5 credits)
This is the third course in the examination, evaluation, and treatment sequence of the neuro-musculoskeletal system. This course explores the clinical application of biomechanics, functional movement, and examination principles for neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction of the cervicothoracic region. Concentrates on the application of psychomotor skills related to regional palpation, examination, and evidence-based interventions emphasizing patient education, manual physical therapy, and therapeutic exercise in a patient-centered approach across the lifespan. This course builds on the student’s critical thinking and reasoning strategies through clinical presentations and management.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 2 courses

DPT 0736 Musculoskeletal Practice IV (4 credits)
This is the final course in the examination, evaluation, and management of the neuro-musculoskeletal system. This course explores the clinical application of biomechanics, functional movement, and examination principles for musculoskeletal dysfunction of the upper extremities. Concentrates on the application of psychomotor skills related to regional palpation, examination, and evidence-based interventions emphasizing patient education, manual physical therapy, and therapeutic exercise in a patient-centered approach across the lifespan. This course builds on the student’s critical thinking and reasoning strategies through clinical presentations and management.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 2 courses

DPT 0740 Neuromuscular Practice I (3 credits)
This is the introductory course in the examination and management of movement disorders and neurological conditions stemming from the central nervous system pathology, with emphasis on stroke, spinal cord, and traumatic brain injury. Lab experiences apply neuroplasticity principles to recovery-based treatment techniques and develop patient management skills for patients with neurologic dysfunction. This course builds on the student’s critical thinking and reasoning strategies through clinical presentations and management in a patient-centered approach.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 2 courses

DPT 0745 Neuromuscular Practice II (3 credits)
This is the second course in the examination, evaluation and management of specific neuromuscular disorders including movement disorders and neurological conditions. This course focuses on central nervous system pathology, with emphasis on movement disorders, vestibular conditions, motor neuron diseases, and cerebellar conditions. Lab experiences continue to develop critical thinking and reasoning, and psychomotor skills for treatment and management of patients with neurologic disease. This course builds on the student’s critical thinking and reasoning strategies through clinical presentations and management in a patient-centered approach.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 2 course

DPT 0753 Mindful Patient Management (2 credits)
This course explores the professional roles physical therapists need for culturally competent interactions with patients, healthcare team members, and society. Applies the principles of "mindful practice” and patient centered care to improve the therapeutic alliance including, assessing health literacy, motivational interviewing, cultural awareness, and empathetic caring into the patient care setting. Students use patient scenarios to practice, self-access, and self-reflect on interviewing skills.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 2 courses

DPT 0756 Management of the Aging Adult (3 credits)
This course introduces the physiologic changes of aging and sociologic and economic consequences of the aging population. Natural aging processes and how complicating factors such as vascular compromise, fall risk, and comorbidities negatively impact the aging adult will be addressed. Modules within the course are built from the six domains of health promotion and safety, evaluation and assessment, care planning and coordination across the care spectrum, interdisciplinary and team care, caregiver support, and healthcare systems and benefits. Lab activities focus on patient management skills of the aging adult patient. Students are introduced to usual and pathological changes with aging and are challenged to problem solve treatment issues relevant to the types of older clients seen in physical therapy clinical settings.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 2 courses

DPT 0750 Cardiopulmonary Practice (4 credits)
This course explores the management of patients with cardiovascular, metabolic, and pulmonary causes of movement system dysfunction across a variety of clinical settings. Lab activities include, but are not limited to, ECG analysis, exercise testing, heart and lung auscultation, lung function testing, and chest examinations. Case discussions are presented to enhance communication, safety, patient management skills, and discharge planning. Students develop appropriate observation and clinical skills necessary for completing a comprehensive evaluation and formulating a comprehensive plan of care that considers relevant educational, social, economic and cultural factors. Students will apply models of clinical decision making that include knowledge translation.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 2 courses

Semester Four

DPT 0761 Physical Therapy Practice I (8 credits)
This course develops student examination, evaluation, and intervention skills during an 8-week mentored clinical experience. The student begins to communicate with patients/clients, family, and other professionals in healthcare and begins to appreciate the role of each team member. This is an integrated clinical experience which builds on the didactic and psychomotor courses within the curriculum. This clinical experience is the first practice experience where students are exposed to evidence-based patient management and clinical reasoning skills as an adult learner and a healthcare professional as part of an interprofessional collaborative team.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 3 courses

DPT 0721 Evidence-based Practice II (2 credits)
This course expands elements of applied research design and statistics that foster students become intelligent consumers of scientific literature. Items related to measurement, research design, statistical analysis, critical inquiry, and strength of evidence are presented.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 3 courses

DPT 0770 Management of Complex Patients (5 credits)
This course introduces patient management strategies for the medically complex patient. Community-based strategies and outpatient management for patients with primary disease or comorbidities of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, oncologic, lymphatic, and integumentary systems are emphasized. Students will design individual and community-based interventions for effective screening and disease management that will be used in their community service project later in the curriculum.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 3 courses

DPT 0780 Management of the Pediatric Patient (3 credits)
Using a framework of normal development from birth to young adulthood, this course presents fundamental concepts for the physical therapy management of children and adolescents with musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiopulmonary dysfunction. Topics include atypical developmental and associated impairments, functional limitations and participation restrictions. Topic of family centered care, advocacy, and assistive technologies are implicit in this course.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 3 courses

DPT 0790 Advanced Diagnostics (2 credits)
This course integrates concepts of advanced diagnostic testing and imaging of the major systems of the body regions related to physical therapy practice. Specific content reviews diagnostic ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, nuclear medicine, and radiographs. Rationale and guidelines for examination selection are introduced, and clinical scenarios provide an emphasis on critical thinking regarding the utility and interpretation of medical diagnostic tests.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 3 courses

Semester Five

DPT 0810 Advanced Therapeutic Interventions (3 credits)
This course expands on the students’ critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and management of patients with movement system dysfunctions. This course is a progression of techniques related to spinal stabilization, movement impairments, and soft tissue dysfunction. Interventions include a progression of exercise therapy, manual therapy techniques dry needling, manipulation, mobilization, muscle energy, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, and proprioceptive/vestibular treatments. Students are provided with expanded knowledge and skills from foundational content previously taught. Lab activities use case scenarios to challenge clinical reasoning for the development and progression of comprehensive treatment plans.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 4 courses

DPT 0814 Business Management (3 credits)
This course provides an overview of basic business principles, as it relates to the practice of physical therapy with a systems-based thinking healthcare approach. Students will gain knowledge on various topics related to healthcare business management. There is a specific focus on understanding payer relationships, diagnostic coding, current procedural terminology, clinical productivity, and operating margin. The course will prepare students to be stewards of fiscal responsibility in the field of physical therapy.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 4 courses.

DPT 0817 Primary Care Physical Therapy (2 credits)
This course explores the therapist's role as an interdependent practitioner working within a collaborative medical model. Presenting the clinical tools and decision-making processes necessary to more efficiently and effectively collect, evaluate, and communicate examination data while promoting differential diagnostic principles and clinical decision-making. This course will have a service-learning experience for the students' annual wellness screening to improve the health of Tufts community.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 4 courses

DPT 0821 Physical Therapy Practice II (8 credits)
This course advances the student’s ability to perform examination, evaluation, and intervention skills during an 8-week mentored clinical internship. The student further develops the ability to communicate with patients/clients, family, and other healthcare professionals. Emphasizes evidence-based patient management and clinical reasoning skills as an adult learner and a healthcare professional as part of an interprofessional collaborative team.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 4 courses and Physical Therapy Practice I

DPT 0826 Integrative Pain Sciences (2 credits)
This course provides an overview of managing people with chronic pain syndromes associated with neuromusculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial factors using emerging and contemporary concepts of pain assessment, treatment, and outcomes. This course builds on the previous courses within the curriculum on the pain management domains and core competencies that were integrated within the body systems. Built from contemporary models, this course reflects the interprofessional consensus of core competencies for prelicensure health professions education in patient management. This course emphasizes the core knowledge necessary for offering best care of patients and provides integrated interprofessional discussion on comprehensive pain management designed to improve patient outcomes.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 4 courses

Semester Six

DPT 0840 Capstone Course (2 credits)
This course integrates and applies cumulative knowledge gained from all previous didactic courses and clinical internship experiences. Throughout this course, students will be engaged in reflective practice in three main areas including integration of content learned through the curriculum, direct application relative to patients managed in the clinical experiences, and professional growth since commencing their DPT education. Students will also articulate how they will uphold the 8 core values for physical therapists as outline by the American Physical Therapy Association. Finally, students develop a plan of study for the National Physical Therapy License Exam.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 5 courses

DPT 0833 Professional Competencies II (2 credits)
Prepares students professionally and emotionally for physical therapy clinical practice, including roles as a lifelong learner, clinical research, advocacy roles, and clinical educator. Explores major forms of health care delivery and how they interact with physical therapy services, including but not limited to, medical ethics, health care regulations, and risk management strategies. This course blends topics through case applications that explore communication, individual and cultural differences, professional behavior and abilities, ethics, legal issues, and risk management within patient care.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 5 courses

DPT 0831 Physical Therapy Practice III (15 credits)
Progresses students to entry-level patient management skills during a 15-week mentored clinical internship. The student refines the ability to communicate with patients/clients, family, and healthcare professionals. Develops advanced evidence-based patient management and clinical reasoning skills. Emphasizes evidence-based patient management and clinical reasoning skills as an adult learner and a healthcare professional as part of an interprofessional collaborative team.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Semester 5 courses and Physical Therapy Practice II

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