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PHTH 6820/6830/6850: Clinical Experience II-IV

Course Syllabus

Course Description

The first year DPT student spends one half day per week (4 hours) for 10-12 weeks (minimum of 45 clinical contact hours) throughout the Fall semester, in a clinical environment under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. This experience is designed to help students become socialized to the clinical environment, and to integrate knowledge, practical skills, and professional behaviors learned. 

Credit Hours



Successful completion of summer DPT curriculum and good academic standing in the Department. For specific curriculum and course information, see the Department site.

Course Coordinator and Instructors

    • Reva Rauk, PT, PhD, MMSc, NCS
    • Director of Clinical Education (DCE) & Assistant Professor (Clinical)
    • Phone: 801-581-8665 / Cell: 435-901-4803
    • Amy Powell-Versteeg, PTA
    • Phone: 801-585-7341
    • Assigned Clinical Instructor (CI)
    • Clinical Site Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE)

Course Objectives / Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course the student will:

    1. Have gained additional exposure and practice in various practice settings while in the physical therapy program.
    2. Integrate knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors learned in the academic setting into the clinical setting. 
    3. Report how this clinical experience has broadened his/her perspective of physical therapy practice.
    4. Demonstrate improved preparation for specialized options in subsequent full-time clinical internships.
    5. Value this (and future) clinical experience and appreciate the clinical instructors who provide these learning opportunities.

Optional Text/Readings:

  • Schon DA. 1987. Educating the Reflective Practitioner. Josey-Bass: San Francisco; pp.3-40.
  • Epstein RM, 1999. Mindful Practice, JAMA; 282(9): 833-839
  • APTA. 2003. Professionalism Core Values Self-Assessment.

Student Expectations/Responsibilities

  1. Attendance – at least 4 hours per week for 10-12 weeks, or equivalent variations (minimum of 45 clinical contact hours). Attendance is mandatory once the optional experience is confirmed! If a session is missed, the student should reschedule to make up the clinical time at the CI’s convenience. The CI’s or the facility’s clinical schedule may require alternate schedules. Times are allocated in the semester class schedule for optional experiences
  2. Abide by the University of Utah Department of Physical Therapy Student Code of Responsibilities.
  3. Be an active participant and self-initiated learner regarding all learning opportunities; attempt to integrate academic knowledge into clinical scenarios; and practice interpersonal, communication, and professionalism skills with patients, families, staff and with whomever he/she interacts.
  4. Demonstrate appropriate professional behaviors and skills at all times.
  5. Successful completion of the following assignments plus any additional assignments/projects given by CI or CCCE (e.g., inservice, case study, etc.).
Assignments** Due
Final Reflective Journal Wk 12-15 10
CI’s Verification of Hours Wk 12-15 10
Final Site & Instructor Evaluation (on Acadaware) Wk 12-15 10

Grading Policy

The student will receive a Credit/No Credit grade upon completion of the course based on the following criteria:

  1. Successful completion of the required time within the clinic, verified by the clinical instructor.
  2. Demonstration of appropriate professional behaviors and skills in all clinical education situations.
    • **NOTE TO Clinical Instructors & Students**

      It is the student’s responsibility to be pro-active in pursuing appropriate clinical learning experiences, pursuing practice opportunities for appropriate skills, and self-initiating performance feedback sessions with the clinical instructor. If there are ANY concerns whatsoever about the student’s professionalism, or any other skill the CI or the CCCE feel the student should be demonstrating, please communicate any concerns to the Director of Clinical Education immediately at 801-581-8665 or 435- 901-4803.

  3. Successful completion of all assignments required by course instructors (DCE, CI, CCCE), including all web-based course assignments.
  4. Acceptable verbal CI report regarding student performance within the clinical environment; CI responses are very enthusiastically welcomed throughout the experience.

Additional Information

Examples of Clinical Training Agreement language of which students must be aware:

“The Facility may immediately remove from the premises any student who poses an immediate threat or danger to personnel or to the quality of medical services or for unprofessional behavior.”

“It is mutually understood and agreed between the parties that the Hospital or the Educational Institution may withdraw any student from the program at any time if the qualifications, performance, or actions of such individual is unsatisfactory or if an individual is disruptive or otherwise interferes with desirable work relationships within the Hospital. If in the opinion of the Hospital or its agents, the health of the student may be detrimental to the health of the Hospital’s patients or employees, the Hospital may remove that student. The above action may be exercised summarily and without recourse.”

APTA Credential Clinical Education Program

The University of Utah highly recommends all Clinical Instructors and Clinical Coordinators of Clinical Education complete the APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor Education Programs and achieve credentialing. The programs are offered a minimum of annually through the Department.

  • Basic Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program
  • Advanced Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program

For further information contact the DCE, Reva Rauk, PT, PhD, MMSc, NCS, via or (801) 581-8665, or Kristin Augustine, Assistant to the DCE, at (801) 585-1462. STATEMENT OF EQUAL ACCESS

The University of Utah and the Department of Physical Therapy seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. All written information in this course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.


Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender (which includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression) is a Civil Rights offense subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, color, religion, age, status of a person with a disability, veteran’s status, or genetic information. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you are encouraged to report it to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 135 Park Building, 801-581-8365, or the Office of the Dean of Students, 270 Union Building, (801) 581-7066. For support and confidential consultation, contact the Center for Student Wellness, 426 SSB, (801) 581-7776. To report to the police, contact the Department of Public Safety, 801-581-2677(COPS).


The code is provided in detail on the University of Utah web page. The code specifies student rights as well as conduct involving cheating, plagiarism, collusion, fraud, theft, etc.

Contact Us

Reva Rauk, PT, PhD, MMSc, NCS

Director of Clinical Education

Phone: 801-581-8665
Fax: 801-585-5629


Emily Walton

Clinical Education Executive Secretary

Phone: 801-585-7962
Fax: 801-585-5629