Advanced electives are chosen from courses offered by the Division of Physical Therapy and/or other departments at the university. Departments offering electives include, but are not limited to, Neuroscience, Rollins School of Public Health and Goizueta School of Business. These courses are taken in the final two semesters of study. Specific elective courses may not be offered every year.
The following are 3 credit courses offered within the Division of Physical Therapy:
Advanced Oncology Elective (DPT 935 and 935A)
The Advanced Oncology elective is for someone who has a passion for oncology care and wants to continue to expand their clinical, didactic, and critical decision-making for the cancer survivor. Through this course, the student will become better prepared for examination, evaluation, intervention, coordination of care, and discharge planning for the cancer survivor across the continuum of care. Active learning through discussion boards, reviewing evidence-based best practices, introduction to compression bandaging and manual lymph drainage, administrative projects, and case study analysis allows the student to challenge themselves to grow and better comprehend the extensive challenges the cancer survivor faces. Successful completion of the Fall didactic and case-based DPT 935 is a prerequisite for the Spring DPT 935A elective. The Spring elective places students for up to 100 hours with clinical partners who have specialized in oncology care to integrate material provided in the Fall elective. Students are welcome to participate in the Fall elective without committing to the Spring clinical elective.
Introduction to Women’s Health (DPT 940)
This course introduces the physical therapy student to management of diagnoses that are unique to women. While many physical therapy interventions and management strategies may be applied across sex, there are differences between males and females that should be considered during rehabilitation and long-term health and well-being. This course will explore conditions that are specific to women, including an introduction to pelvic health, pregnancy, breast cancer, menopause, and conditions specific to the female athlete. Learning methods will involve a combination of lecture, lab and small group discussion.
Beyond the Diagnosis: Exploring Psychosocial and Cultural Dimensions of Disability, Through Health Humanities (DPT 945 )
This course will provide students the opportunity for deeper exploration of current psychosocial and cultural topics, with an emphasis on humanities, as it relates to rehabilitation. The overall course objective is for students to engage in dialogue and reflection over meaningful and relevant topics in rehabilitation, drawing from their completed clinical experiences. The course structure will include didactic classes followed bydiscussion-based classeswhere students can engage in dialogue and reflection about the previous class’s content. Assignments for the course will include self-reflective discussion boards, case-oriented problem solving, an interview with a community member who identifies as living with a disability, participation in a mindfulness practice of their choice, and a book report.
Yoga and Meditation/Mindfulness in Physical Therapy (DPT 951)
Yoga Therapy is gaining recognition and acceptance worldwide as a complementary healthcare modality. The purpose of this class is to teach the physical therapy student the practices of yoga that are applicable to the physical therapist patient. Concepts underlying yoga and yoga practices as well as their application to a variety of patient conditions will be explored. The student will be able to understand, explain, teach and integrate a variety of yoga practices into their patients’ rehabilitation programs.
Business Management for the Physical Therapist Entrepreneur (DPT 952)
The purpose of this course is to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in physical therapy students irrespective of the practice environment in which they choose to work. This course is for students interested in learning the art and science of becoming a successful entrepreneur in the physical therapy industry. This course will help students learn planning, operational, and analytical skills that will improve the likelihood of success in starting their own private practices or introducing new services in different health care settings (acute care hospital, rehabilitation center, etc.). This course will provide a glimpse of a number of primary business disciplines including marketing, finance, operations, management, market research, and strategy.
Manual and Manipulative Therapy (DPT 954)
The historical development of manipulative therapy is investigated starting with the use of manipulation by bone setters followed by the introduction of manipulation into the medical, osteopathic, chiropractic and physical therapy professions. The various schools of manipulative thought are investigated with recognition to the individual contributors who advanced the practice of manipulation. The current state practice acts regarding the utilization of manipulation in the physical therapy profession is reviewed. Supportive arguments against the regulation of manipulative therapy within the profession of physical therapy are explored. Theoretical rationale and effects of manipulation are examined with respect to psychological impact, neurophysiologic influences and mechanical changes. Spinal manipulative research and evidence for the use of manipulation is analyzed. Risks, adverse reactions and contraindications are considered. The psychomotor skills required in the successful performance of manipulation are also addressed.
Interprofessional Critical Care Early Mobilization (DPT 955)
This interprofessional course will combine online didactic content with immersive simulation-based learning experiences and clinical experience with early mobilization in the Intensive Care Unit. Through this course, 4thyear medical students in their final clerkship and 3rdyear physical therapy students in their final semester will learn and apply the four Interprofessional Education Collaboration Core Competency Domains (Values/Ethics; Roles/Responsibilities; Interprofessional Communication; Teams and Teamwork) within the context of an ICU early mobilization curriculum.
Pilates for the Rehabilitation Professional (DPT 956)
The objective of this course is to introduce the principles of Pilates and their application in a rehabilitation setting. Classes will be case scenario-driven to provide novice physical therapists clinical reasoning and problem solving skills relevant to application of Pilates exercise. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have developed a repertoire of Pilates exercises to apply in multiple rehabilitation settings. They will be familiar with modifications and progressions specific to various patient types and conditions.
From Clinic to Kitchen: Applied Nutrition for Physical Therapists (DPT 958)
This course, offered in conjunction with Emory College, Emory Student Health Services and Emory Campus Life, teaches students applied nutrition education in the context of a Physical Therapy practice. Students will learn how to identify nutrition related concerns which may be adversely affecting health. Students will learn to plan, and prepare appropriate, healthy meals for disease management and wellness, as well as, learn scope of practice regarding nutrition and when to refer to a Licensed Dietitian. Students will be given patient casesthat can be improved with dietary changesandresearch the appropriate nutritional needs for each case, based not only on the patient’s disease, but also their eating habits and socioeconomic status. They will then propose a healthy meal with specific recipes forthat patient case as well as a cost breakdown; various recipes willbe compared/critiqued and the nutritionist and culinary expertswould give their recommendationsfor a healthy meal, which the group would then prepare together. By acquiring hands-on skills of shopping, cooking and preparing a meal that can be translated into their future work, physical therapy students will facilitate their own healthy eating, as well as promote advocacy for improved nutrition in their patients. Classes will be a combination of lecture, group projects, discussion and experiential learning with 4-5 sessions in the campus demonstration kitchen.
Dry Needling (DPT 959)
This course focuses on skill acquisition of dry needling technique and clinical reasoning for implementing the intervention for upper and lower quarter dysfunction including spine. While evidence is limited pertaining to the technique, emerging evidence is supportive and will be explored including some discussion of the strengths and limitations of the current available evidence. Current ongoing research will be explored as well as identifying gaps in the literature. Case based and problem based approaches will be implemented to enhance the clinical reasoning behind the use of dry needling.
Spanish for Physical Therapists (DPT 960)
Spanish for Physical Therapists is an elective course designed for physical therapy students who want to improve communication skills with Spanish speaking patients and their caregivers through increased awareness of Hispanic American culture and improved ability to use spoken Spanish to communicate during physical therapy assessments and treatment procedures. Assessment topics include: family and home environment, work history, medical history, pain assessment, functional assessment, range of motion testing, muscle testing, neurologic examination procedures, balance and gait assessment, and developmental assessment for children. Treatment procedures include: explanation of precautions, therapeutic exercises, functional training, gait training and the use of physical modalities. Students also learn to give instructions to patients about appropriate dress for treatment procedures, to make appointments and to give directions to the clinic or other locations. Class materials including vocabulary lists, exercise programs and patient education handouts allow students to build a portfolio of resources to use in the delivery of physical therapy services to patients who speak Spanish and very little or no English.
Advanced Acute Care (DPT 961)
The purpose of this course is to enhance the assimilation of knowledge and skills to facilitate early mobilization in the intensive care unit. This course is for students interested in integrating problem solving, pathophysiology, electrocardiograms, and technology to achieve early mobilization as part of a multidisciplinary team in the Intensive Care Unit.
This course will provide students the opportunity to learn various assessment skills, develop critical thinking and problem solving skills through case-based analysis of patient scenarios. Through this process the students can develop evidence based reasoning for early mobilization in the intensive care unit to impact patient and cost outcomes for the acute care setting.
The Endurance Athlete (DPT 963)
This course introduces students to an evidence-based approach to examination (including functional movement assessment and gait analysis), evaluation and treatment of overuse injuries among triathletes. This course will build upon examination of specific lower extremity joints to include an integrated kinetic chain approach to assessment of triathletes’ overuse injuries. Students will acquire strategies to facilitate biomechanical improvements in running, cycling and swimming and will learn return to sports activities for this athletic population. Intervention strategies will include specific manual therapy techniques, prescription of running and multisport specific exercises, and gait retraining. Additionally, students will learn the importance of a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to the management of the triathlete via interactions with a diversity of professionals involved in the care of these athletes.
Directed Study (DPT 970)
Specialized leaning experiences related to the student’s program, which are not available through formal course offerings. These courses offer student the opportunity to focus on a specific focused area of study and typically culminate in a formal paper and/or presentation to faculty and students.
Readings in Physical Therapy (DPT 972)
Readings in Physical Therapy provides the student with an opportunity for in-depth review, critique and synthesis of current literature beyond readings not available through formal course offerings. These courses typically culminate in a formal paper and/or presentation to faculty and students.
Advanced Human Anatomy (DPT 976)
This course provides an opportunity for advanced study of human anatomy (and related biomechanics). Human cadaver dissection and readings are used to identify anatomical characteristics of different body systems with emphasis on correlating these characteristics to clinical implications. Students identify two body regions, based on their clinical interests and in consultation with the instructor, for detailed dissection and study.
Spinal Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (DPT 978)
A study of the functional anatomy, clinical biomechanics and neuromotor behavior of spinal dysfunction/pathology. Evaluative tests to differentiate the nature of spinal motion disorders are emphasized. The significance of test findings and the formulation of treatment plans are discussed. Management strategies for pain relief, improvement in motion performance and return to functional activities will be demonstrated. Manual therapy for motion impairments and spinal stabilization strategies are significant components of the course. The course also investigates the rationale and evidence for establishing a plan of care. Also presented are special topic areas related to temporomandibular disorders and pelvic girdle dysfunction.
Advanced Extremities (DPT 980)
Focuses on pathological conditions of the appendicular musculoskeletal system, with regard to movement dysfunction. General conditions to be studied will include tissue responses to trauma and immobilization, abnormal mechanics, fractures, dislocations, upper and lower extremity overuse syndromes and gait dysfunction. Specific pathological conditions for each of the extremity joints will be covered, and will include discussions of possible sources of pain and differential diagnosis.
Fundamentals of Strength and Conditioning (DPT 982)
This course will provide a comprehensive overview of strength and conditioning and is designed specifically to prepare students for the nationally accredited Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification exam. Content involves an extensive review of the basic exercise sciences including anatomy, exercise physiology, and biomechanics. In addition, the fundamentals of performance nutrition, exercise technique, program design and administration, and testing and evaluation will be covered.
Advanced Pediatrics (DPT 984)
This pediatric course begins with advanced level study of musculoskeletal growth and motor development in typical children and then progresses to the study of common pediatric disorders and physical therapy interventions that are effective for these problems. Students review evidence related to effects of physical therapy interventions to improve function, musculoskeletal status, and quality of life in children with neurologic and orthopedic disorders. Format includes: presentations by the instructors, readings, case based discussions, clinical site visits, reviews of research in group seminars and occasional laboratory sessions to learn special techniques.
Vestibular Rehabilitation (DPT 986)
This intense, evidence-based, six-day course consists of lecture and laboratory sessions with additional self-study sessions emphasizing the physical therapy management of patients with peripheral vestibular disorders. All participants will be expected to demonstrate assessment skills to faculty including: oculomotor examination with emphasis on the identification of nystagmus and canal involvement; balance and gait, fall risk and functional assessments. Participants will also be expected to demonstrate appropriate treatment procedures for BPPV affecting posterior, anterior and horizontal canals for both cupulolithiasis and canalithiasis, for unilateral and bilateral peripheral vestibular disorders, and for disorders resulting in motion sensitivity such as central vestibular disorders including traumatic brain injury. Emphasis will be on utilizing assessment results to develop an effective treatment plan.
Interfacing Engineering Technology and Rehabilitation (DPT 988)
This course is designed to introduce the student to the emerging trends in rehabilitation technologies. Lecture and laboratory instruction will help students develop skills in adopting objective criteria for evaluating emerging technologies with alternative methods. The course will feature recent discoveries in research related to rehabilitation technology. Students will learn about the physiological mechanisms governing physical rehabilitation, as well as the tools used to quantify those mechanisms. The course will survey neural prosthetics, brain-machine interfacing, wearable technologies, telerehabilitation, regenerative medicine, robotics, and informatics as well as the processes for technology transfer, patent applications, and licensing.
Sports Physical Therapy (DPT 990)
This course extends the students’ clinical reasoning and manual therapy skills in the examination and management of common sports injuries and conditions affecting the athlete. Students will explore selected mechanisms of sports injuries affecting the neuromusculoskeletal system, the resulting pathokinematics, examination procedures, the rationale for clinical tests used in differential diagnosis, the significance of test findings and the formulation of treatment plans. Management strategies for acute injuries, improvement in motion performance, sports biomechanics and return to sports activities will be reviewed and demonstrated. Intervention strategies will include first aid, taping, manual therapy, and exercise techniques. The course also investigates the relationships between extremity joint injuries and adjacent regions, including the spine.
Advanced Adult Neurorehabilitation (DPT 992)
Course content will include advanced study of neurologic diagnoses, examination, intervention, and clinical decision-making. Clinical education will be incorporated either through a short-term intensive clinical service learning experience in rural Jamaica with a population of adult individuals post-stroke or via an alternative local clinical site. Classroom, laboratory, and directed study of the current body of literature for the practice of neurologic physical therapy will be required. Special attention will be given to various outcome measures and interventions with respect to both theory and practice, with a focus on current evidence-based medicine.
Service Learning (DPT 994)
This course offers the opportunity to explore the physical therapists’ role in providing a variety of services to medically underserved communities. Service learning consists of academic learning modules integrated with meaningful community service experiences designed to increase civic responsibility and cultural competence and strengthen communities. The course consists of independently completed web-based learning modules, written reflections, and provision of services to a community (community projects TBA). Student must have an agreement with a faculty advisor regarding their service learning project prior to registering for this course.
Preceptorships (DPT 900 level courses)
Preceptorships are practical learning experiences that allow students to participate in the teaching-learning process in a formal educational setting. The experience may include participation in preparation for classes, classroom lectures and/or discussion, and clinical laboratories. Faculty are currently offering preceptorships in the following courses: Introduction to Interventions, Neuroscience, General Medical Conditions, Adult Neurorehabilitation, Pediatric Rehabilitation, and Spanish for Physical Therapists.