Clinical Practicum III

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PTA 261

       Course Name: Clinical Practicum III

       Credits: 1 (0 lecture; 8 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PTA 162 with minimum grade of C; PTA 207, PTA 210, PTA 211 and PTA 241/242 with minimum grade of C in all courses or concurrent enrollment.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course continues supervised practical experience in a physical therapy department. Provides added opportunities to apply and improve physical therapy skills.

IV.   Learning Objectives

With completion of this 16 week, part-time clinical experience, the student will:

  1. Perform selected physical therapy interventions under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist in a safe, legal and ethical manner consistent with the APTA’s Value Based Behaviors.
  2. Manage a caseload which is 50%-75% of the expected workload of a PTA working in the same facility.
  3. Perform at least 75% of the patient care tasks on assigned patients/clients depending on the complexity.
  4. Assess patient status before and after treatments and communicate/report pertinent information to the supervising therapist.
  5. Utilize the medical record and extract pertinent information needed to carry out the plan of care.
  6. Utilize the physical therapy plan of care prior to treating the patient and seek clarification from clinical instructor as needed based on patient feedback and performance.
  7. Select evidence-based treatment activities which relate to the patient’s established goals and plan of care, with supervision of the clinical instructor.
  8. Prepare and maintain a safe working environment for performing interventions.
  9. Document patient care in a timely, accurate, legible and complete manner, with supervision of the clinical instructor, utilizing the format of the clinical facility and consistent with institutional, legal and billing requirements.
  10. Recognize the role of other health care professionals, patients and families in the delivery of patient care.
  11. Communicate in a professional manner with patients, their families, and other facility personnel.
  12. Display sensitivity to the cultural, age and gender differences of professionals, patients and others encountered in the clinical setting.
  13. Assist with office duties as assigned, i.e. billing, scheduling and messages.
  14. Follow the clinical facility’s policies and procedures which apply to clinical education, health, safety and confidentiality.
  15. Participate in problem solving for clinical and professional issues.
  16. Display professional behaviors as mandated by the APTA/IPTA.

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

VI.   Sequence of Topics

The clinical experience involving hands on patient treatments, departmental activities and in-service or additional training opportunities are planned and scheduled by the clinical instructor and may vary depending on type of facility.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Hands on clinical practice with patient clientele.

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

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Clinical Affiliation (8 hours per week)
    1. Abide by the dress code of the facility.
    2. Attendance on assigned clinical days is required. All absences for any reason, including absences for observation of MAJOR religious observances, must be made up before a final grade is given in the course. In case of a clinical absence, supervisor must be notified. Intended absences for observance of MAJOR religious obligations must be arranged with the clinical supervisor in advance (at the beginning of the semester).
    3. The times and days of the affiliation are not to be changed without approval.
    4. The completed evaluation of the facility (form provided) is to be turned in at the end of the semester.
    5. The facility clinical supervisor will discuss and complete the student evaluation at mid-term and end of semester. This is to be turned in at the end of the semester.
    6. Visitation will be made by Oakton Community College faculty member.
  2. Course is taught off-site at the student’s assigned clinical facility.

IX.   Instructional Materials

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

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Clinical visits and reports by Oakton Community College faculty member.
  2. Clinical evaluation by clinical supervisor.

Grades will be determined as follows:
A: 90 – 100%
B: 80 – 89.99%
C: 70 – 79.99%

Clinical grades will constitute 100% of the final grade.

XI.   Other Course Information

PTA program faculty determine student clinical assignment.
Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from the clinical facility.
Students may be asked by the facility to provide confirmation of satisfactory substance abuse testing, criminal background check, proof of medical insurance, proof of blood borne pathogen orientation, proof of satisfactory health and physical examination, and proof of CPR certification.

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.

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

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.