Clinical Education

The Radford University Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum includes three (3) unpaid full-time clinical experiences (the first summer after year one of the curriculum, the second summer after year two of the curriculum and the spring semester of the third year of the curriculum).

The clinical education program supports the program’s mission in the following ways:

  1. Provides the opportunity for students to practice and hone skills and abilities learned within the program’s pre-clinical coursework.
  2. The three clinical experiences are required to be diverse and based on the step-lock curriculum.
  3. 1 of 3 clinical experiences is required to be within the defined region of 200 geographic miles from the Radford University DPT campus in Roanoke, VA.
  4. Our mission states that practitioners will serve the physical therapy needs of rural communities, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the region. In order to meet this mission, clinical placements in your home town or state are not guaranteed.

Radford University DPT announces CI of 2014

It is a pleasure to announce the Radford University DPT program’s first annual CI of the Year recipient is Nathaniel “Nate” Gay.

Radford University DPT students who attended clinic internships either in spring or summer 2014 were encouraged to nominate their CI(s), with the final selection made by the Radford University DPT Clinical Education Review Committee.

Nate who works as Carilion Clinic’s Coordinator of Clinical Education and Clinical Instructor, in Roanoke, VA, was nominated by RU DPT student, Terry Kahn.  “Nate has been an exemplary CI for me, he has high standards and principles, he makes it a point to be positive even when correcting a technique, and he is a shining example of what a PT should be”, Terry wrote. 

In addition to receiving a framed certificate of recognition, Nate was invited to attend the course, Fascial Manipulation for Musculoskeletal Impairments, hosted by the Radford university Department of Physical Therapy, September 27 and 28, 2014. The $250 registration fee was waived.

Nate was also was asked to provide some personal feedback about being a clinical instructor particularly for Radford University DPT students.

What motivates you to be a CI?

“I had the privilege of working under incredible clinical instructors when I was a PT student.  I have always wanted to give students the same kind of experience.  It is important for clinicians to invest in the "new generation".  I always find that I learn much from the students as well, and am challenged to be more mindful about my own practice and learning.”

What advice would you give other PTs thinking about becoming a CI?

“Definitely take the CI credentialing course--it helped me immensely in learning to organize and plan clinical experiences.  Also, it is important to try to plan ahead, know your regulations (supervision requirements, school requirements, etc.) and approach this in many ways as you would patient management, with clear goals and steps along the way. Be determined to encourage your students, challenge them appropriately, and learn from them as well.  Request feedback regularly.”

As a CCCE and CI for many Radford University DPT students over the past three years, what qualities stand out verses students from other DPT programs?

Professionalism, academic/didactic preparedness, and confidence.  I have been amazed at how quickly these students have learned, and become comfortable in stretching into more independent practice in the clinical experience.  They handle themselves well and demonstrate good understanding of the profession and patient management.

Congratulations Nate and thank you for your continued support of Radford University’s DPT Program.

Policies and Procedures

Student clinical internships will follow cognitive, psychomotor, and affective preparedness and predetermined curriculum milestones to assure students are prepared for the area they will be asked to practice as students of physical therapy. Students will be required to complete three diverse 12-week full time clinical affiliations at the end of each curricular year. Clinical internships may include but are not limited to skilled nursing home facilities, in-patient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, acute care, hospital, home health, and school settings. In their last clinical internship,  students will have the option of exploring specialty areas of  practice including neurology, pediatrics, research, community health, sports medicine, geriatrics, industrial rehabilitation, wound care, women's health, hippotherapy, lymphedema management, and aquatic therapy. Students will graduate with an entry-level degree to practice as autonomous practitioners of physical therapy.

Educator Resources

A consensus conference was convened in 2003 through APTA's Education Division and Research Department to identify research questions related to education. The conference outcome was a document that served as the blueprint for the development of a survey disseminated to a variety of stakeholders within the physical therapy education community. The final product from the conference and survey was used to define a set of priority ranked and categorized researchable questions.

Clinical Handbook

The clinical handbook (PDF) is a tool utilized to effectively communicate with clinical education faculty and Doctor of Physical Therapy students.

It includes:

  • A list of the responsibilities of the director of clinical education, clinical education faculty, and students.
  • Provides a description of the rights and privileges of clinical education faculty