Clinical Applications in PTA

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PTA 218

       Course Name: Clinical Applications in PTA

       Credits: 2 (2 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Completion of PTA 207, PTA 210, and PTA 211, all with minimum grades of C.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines the clinical management of complex physical therapy patients.  Focus is on the practical application of effective treatment strategies to a variety of diagnoses using a case-study problem based approach.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student is able to:

  1. Relate  diagnoses presented and the implication to physical therapy care for the patient with various and potentially multiple diagnoses.
  2. Prioritize diagnoses and interventions with the application of theoretical content.
  3. Integrate various sources of information to formulate appropriate physical therapy interventions for each patient problem based on the PT’s Plan of Care.
  4. Apply previously learned physical therapy treatment interventions to specific case scenarios consistent with the APTA’s Guide for Conduct and Ethics.
  5. Describe the overlapping roles of interdisciplinary teams, family support systems, and patient education and community resources.
  6. Utilize and teach others the correct use of the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice and apply it to patient care including the ICF model and apply them to patient care.
  7. Synthesize and apply treatment techniques to patients with multiple diagnoses.
  8. Review health records (e.g. lab values, diagnostic tests, specialty reports, narrative, consults, and physical therapy documentation) prior to carrying out the PT plan of care.
  9. Initiate self-directed activities and personal accountability and collaboration with classmates to meet learning objectives.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Sources of Information
    1. APTA Guide to Physical Therapy Practice
    2. Other evidence based resources
    3. Textbook resources
  2. Integrated Interventions for Multiple Diagnoses
    1. Joint mobilization
    2. Kinesiology taping
    3. Special tests
    4. Treatment progressions
    5. Interdisciplinary teams
    6. Community resources
    7. Patient education and discharge planning
  3. Special topics in Women’s/Men’s Health
    1. Pelvic floor
    2. Pregnancy and low back
    3. Core
    4. Prostate
  4. Multiple Diagnoses/Co-morbidities and Complications
    1. Factors in prioritizing treatment
      1. “Red Flags”
      2. Decision making
    2. Pharmacology and poly-pharmacy concerns
    3. Short and long term functional goals
    4. Functional outcomes
    5. Application to Medicare standards

VII.  Methods of Instruction

May vary with instructor, but the course will utilize a problem based learning approach with a case study format augmented by hands – on (lab) activities and lecture/discussions.


Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Attend two hours of lecture /lab per week in a face to face format.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. APTA “Guide to PT Practice” 2nd ed.
  2. PT publications available on on-line databases (med-line, etc)
  3. Various textbooks used in previous coursework

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Written examinations at end of each unit: 60% of course grade.
  2. Written homework assignments: 20% of course grade.
  3. Final written analysis: 20% of course grade.

Grades determined by percentage of total points as follows:

90.0-100  = A
80.0-89.9 = B
70.0-79.9 = C

Scores below 70.0% are considered failing. It is not the policy of the program to "round up" decimals when computing final course grades.

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance is required for all scheduled classes. Repeated tardiness and/or absences will result in lowering course grade. Students who inform the instructor in advance (at the beginning of the semester) of an intended absence for a MAJOR religious observance will not be penalized. However, instructors are not responsible for teaching material again and missed work, exams or quizzes must be made up either in advance or immediately following the intended absence.

Students found guilty of plagiarism/cheating are subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.

Ordinarily there will be no make-ups of exams or quizzes, announced or unannounced.  In the event a student has an absence when a test or quiz is scheduled, the instructor may elect to allow a make up test with a penalty.

Late homework assignments will not be accepted.

In event of illness or emergency, instructor must be notified prior to class time.

Electronic devices with audible signals are not permitted in class. This includes cellular telephones, audible pagers and translators with audible signals.



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.