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PTRS DPT Clinical Education Handbook

Revised Date: 7/1/2016

Table of Contents

Section I: Introduction

Section II: Student Requirements

Section III: Clinical Education Academic Policies

Section IV: Student Professional Behavior and Communication Standards

Section V: Clinical Education Procedures

Section VI: UMB Campus Policies and Resources


Section I: Introduction

The purpose of the clinical education curriculum is to provide the physical therapy student the opportunity to apply didactic knowledge, develop professional behaviors, and practice hands-on skills. This aspect of the educational experience is essential in developing the practice of physical therapy. Within the clinical setting, the physical therapy student has the opportunity to advance both their integration and application of knowledge, skills, and values.

Philosophy of Clinical Education
The clinical education curriculum aims to cultivate graduates that are generalists in the field who are able to restore physical function and performance, prevent physical injury and disease, promote wellness, and advance rehabilitation science. Therefore, clinical education will occur in clinically and geographically diverse settings to afford the student opportunities to experience an interdisciplinary team approach within inpatient medically-complex, elective rehabilitation specialty, and outpatient community-based settings.

Purpose of this Handbook
The Clinical Education Handbook (Handbook) is designed to guide the student, the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE), and the Clinical Instructor (CI) through the clinical education curriculum and policies of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science’s (PTRS) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program. It is the intent of this Handbook to improve communication and clarify expectations between PTRS, clinical sites (the facility), and the students regarding policies and procedures surrounding clinical education. The Handbook does not replace the necessary communication between the clinical sites and PTRS. Both the student and the clinical facility should have a copy of the Handbook. It is recommended that the Handbook be read prior to the student’s arrival at the clinical site and be utilized as a reference during the clinical internship courses. The department reserves the right to update and revise the Handbook. It is the responsibility of the student to check for the most current version.

Revision Policy
The student must adhere to any revisions made to the policies and regulations made in the Handbook. The revision date will be posted on Blackboard. The student is encouraged to reread the Handbook on at least a yearly basis to familiarize themselves with the stated policies and any potential changes.

PTRS Academic Policy
The UMSOM PTRS DPT Student Handbook describes the DPT Program policies for all enrolled students. The current version of the DPT Student Handbook is available at The Clinical Education Handbook is supplemental to the DPT Student Handbook and provides information unique and specific to Clinical Education and to the clinical education blocks.

PTRS reserves the right to update and revise student handbooks. The students must adhere to any revisions made to academic policy. The revision date will be clearly stated on the front of PTRS Student Handbooks and posted on the departmental website. The students are encouraged to review handbooks every year to be familiar with PTRS policies.

General Overview of the Clinical Experiences 

Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE)
ICEs occur during the Fall and Spring semesters in Year Two of the program. The main purpose of ICE is to introduce the student to the clinical environment and to develop clinical and professional skills. They include clinical patient care under the supervision of a clinical instructor and a Professional Practice Opportunity (PPO) assignment. A Clinical Skills Assessment Report [Appendix A] is utilized for grading.

Full-time Clinical Internships (Internship)
The student will complete three full-time internships in Year Three of the DPT program. Beginning in 2016, each internship will be eleven (11) weeks in length. Upon completion of the clinical education curriculum, the student will have completed Internships working with patients in each of the following areas: medically complex, elective rehabilitation specialty, and community-based (due to patient type, some internships may be classified as a combination of the above). Each internship has an assignment associated with it. All students must complete a minimum of one internship out of domain. Due to the volatility of clinic availability and to ensure on-time matriculation, it may be necessary for the student to complete more than 1 out of domain internship. Out of domain internships are those located in the following areas: 1) Maryland (west of Hagerstown, Eastern Shore Peninsula, and Southern Maryland), 2) Washington, DC, and 3) all other states.

The three working days following the last day of each internship is to be made available to the clinical site for any closeout duties and make-up days. Daily attendance is expected during each clinical internship.

Organizational Structure of Clinical Education (ClinEd)
ClinEd is located in Suite 505 of the Allied Health Building, and has a general department email address that is available to all those within the office. The general email address for PTRS Clinical Education is or 410-706-5200

Director of Clinical Education (DCE)
The DCE has the primary role and responsibility to develop, coordinate, administer, and evaluate the clinical education portion of the academic program. The Director also is the faculty member who is responsible for determining student grades for the Clinical Education blocks that occur in the second and third year of the curriculum. The Director maintains communication with students during their clinical internships and with the clinical supervisors and staff at partnering facilities.

Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCE)
The CCE is an employee of UMSOM who is responsible for clinical site communication, both potential and extant, to establish and maintain contracts, and to assist in coordinating student placements in conjunction with the program’s faculty.

Administrative Clinical Education Assistant (ACEA)
The ACEA is an employee of UMSOM whose primary role is to assist the DCE and the CCE on a daily basis with a variety of tasks. The ACEA is also responsible for collecting and organizing data on each cohort and clinical site to report to faculty.

Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE)
The CCCE is an employee of the clinical facility who is responsible for developing and coordinating the clinical education program at the clinical facility. For a detailed description of the CCCE position, refer to the APTA’s online documentation (link below).

Clinical Instructor (CI)
The CI is an employee of the clinical facility and is responsible for direct supervision of the student in the clinical setting. CIs must have a minimum of one year of full time (or equivalent) post-licensure clinical experience and be effective role models and clinical teachers. For a detailed description of the CI position, refer to the APTA’s online documentation. CIs are assigned/paired with a student by the clinical site’s CCCE.

  • CI shall share with the student and department the responsibility for academic integrity.
  • CI shall enjoy freedom in the clinic to discuss all subject matter reasonably related to the course. In turn, they have the responsibility to encourage free and honest inquiry and expression on the part of the student.
  • CI, consistent with the principles of academic freedom, has the responsibility to present courses that are consistent with their descriptions in the catalog of the institution. In addition, faculty members have the obligation to make students aware of the expectations in the course, the evaluation procedures, and the grading policy.
  • CI is obligated to evaluate students fairly, equitably, and in a manner appropriate to the course and its objectives.
  • CI shall make all reasonable efforts to prevent the occurrence of academic dishonesty through appropriate design and administration of assignments and examinations, careful safeguarding of course materials and examinations, and regular reassessment of evaluation procedures.
  • CI shall have the responsibility to contact DCE when instances of academic dishonesty are suspected. The DCE will see that appropriate action is taken in accordance with institutional regulations.

Clinical Educator Responsibilities
PTRS expects that all clinical faculty are interested in developing/enhancing clinical teaching. The APTA has published a self-assessment pertinent to the needs and responsibilities of both CCCEs and CIs in the physical therapy profession. This assessment may be found on APTA’s website at The DCE and PTRS are available for consult and assistance with clinical teaching resources.

Throughout the clinical education curriculum, the student must assume many roles and corresponding responsibilities. In assuming these responsibilities, the student will be held accountable for their own actions at all times. The student is a representative of UMSOM and is responsible to the following entities: the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, PTRS, clinical facility, CCCE/CI, and patient as follows:

  • The student shares with the CI and the department the responsibility for academic integrity.
  • The student has the right of free and honest inquiry and expression in their courses. In addition, the student has the right to know the requirements of their courses and to know the manner in which they will be evaluated and graded.
  • The student has the obligation to complete the requirements of their courses in the time and manner prescribed and to submit their work for evaluation.
  • The student has the right to be evaluated fairly, equitably, and in a timely manner appropriate to the course and its objectives.
  • As a member of the University community, the student is a representative of the University, the School, and the Department, and their respective policies and regulations.
  • By definition, the student is a visitor of the facility in which they are receiving clinical education. As such, the student is responsible for abiding by all operational policies and regulations of the facility and Department. Although the student may be considered a participant in the facility, the student is not considered to be an employee of the facility.
  • As a member of the physical therapy and health care communities, the student is expected to demonstrate attitudes and behaviors appropriate of persons responsible for the delivery of quality health care according to the APTA Code of Ethics and the state in which the facility is located.
  • The student is responsible to the patient to provide the best healthcare of which he/she is capable. The student must recognize that he/she is being relied upon to provide physical therapy services with the utmost compassion, respect and undivided concern.
  • As an adult learner and member of the physical therapy profession, the student is responsible for identifying their own didactic and clinical strengths and weaknesses, and assisting CCCE/CI in developing learning experiences. Imperative in this process is the concept of the student as an active learner who shows initiative and responsibility in working with the CCCE/CI to mutually develop an appropriate clinical education experience. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate professional needs, interests, and abilities with the CI, and to take initiative in establishing learning objectives and experiences in conjunction with the CI. Lack of knowledge in a certain area indicates a need for further learning, and does not constitute an excuse to avoid or provide inadequate patient care.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to prepare for patient care and complete assignments by deadlines. The student is advised to review educational resources in appropriate content areas prior to and during clinical experiences. Reference materials relevant to the assigned caseload may be available to the CI during the internship.

Benefits of PTRS Clinical Faculty / Sites

  • Complementary voucher for 1 CEU course
  • Complementary attendance at the Annual Kendall lecture/PT Month CEU course
  • Annual Research Day complimentary CEU
  • Discounted APTA CI credentialing
  • Access to discounted CEU opportunities through the MAC (The Mid-Atlantic Consortium)
  • Opportunity to participate in the Clinical Education Advisory Group
  • Eligibility for scholarship to attend the annual APTA Education Leadership Conference
  • Certificate of supervisory hours (for use by jurisdictional boards for continuing competence)
  • Library resources and literature searches via research student workers


Section II: Student Requirements

Open and Proactive Communication
The DCE, CCCE, CI, and the student are to be in close alliance and communication in achieving the goals of creating an optimal learning experience and ultimately a competent practitioner. To meet these goals, all must communicate with one another in a meaningful and productive manner. If at any time the CI/CCCE has concerns regarding the quality of the student’s performance, it is their responsibility to contact the DCE and jointly determine a plan of action to address the problematic areas. If at any time the student or the CI/CCCE has a concern about the learning or clinical environment at the facility, they must contact the DCE immediately. The CI/CCCE/student is encouraged to contact the DCE at any time during the internship.

The DCE will be available for communication or a physical site visit (when practically possible) while the student is on a clinical internship. Purposes of these visits are to:

  1. Monitor clinical competence and progress of the student, including clinical strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Gather information on clinical performance of the student to assist in program evaluation.
  3. Monitor learning experiences provided by the facility to assist in evaluation of the facility and CI.
  4. Maintain regular communication between the University and the facility.

The DCE will also monitor student learning within the clinical setting via the required weekly assessment forms and the mid-term and final CPI. If necessary, additional monitoring will occur.

Housing and Transportation
It is the responsibility of the student to secure and finance transportation and appropriate living arrangements during all clinical internships. When indicated in the clinic files, housing or assistance to obtain housing may be provided by the facility; some sites provide housing at no expense to the student or at a modest cost. The student should consider availability and cost of housing and transportation before submitting clinical site selection preferences.

Potential Hazards 

Please refer to the PTRS DPT Student Handbook - Potential Hazards.

Required Equipment
As a professional, the student is responsible to supply their own tools of the trade which include items from the PTRS PT kit and other writing/organizational materials.

Working Hours
The student is expected to be prompt and to work the assigned regular working hours of the facility and the CI (this does not include CI vacation days). Clinical sites are open from Sunday to Saturday and frequently have clinical hours that extend into the evening. On occasion, the student may need to stay beyond typical hours to complete patient care and/or documentation. Holidays will be determined by the schedule of the clinical facility and not by the University’s schedule.

While at the clinical site, the student is directly responsible to the CI/CCCE and the clinical facility, and must abide by the policies and procedures of the hospital/department concerning breaks, parking, etc. Likewise, the student is responsible for setting up and cleaning up the work area of all assigned patients, as well as assisting in the general maintenance and orderliness of the facility.

To meet the requirements of the university, the student is expected to participate in a minimum of 35 hours of onsite clinical activities per week.

Injuries, Illness, Family Emergency and other clinical schedule changes 

In the event of illness, injury or family emergency, the student is responsible for contacting the DCE and CI/CCCE immediately and will maintain contact on a daily basis with the DCE and CI/CCCE throughout the absence. At the time of the event, the student must 1) call the facility to inform the CI/CCCE of their absence, 2) immediately following the phone call, the student must send an email to the CI/CCCE, referencing the prior phone call regarding their absence, and must be copied on the email sent to the CI/CCCE. It is the expectation that all missed clinical time will be made up. The DCE in coordination with the CI/CCCE will formulate a plan for how the student will make up missed clinic time. The DCE reserves the right to require an alternate assignment of the student to ensure mastery of the content as part of the make-up plan. Lengthy absences may require rescheduling of the internship.

Absences other than illness, injury or family emergency are rarely acceptable and the student should not make plans or accept invitations that would take them out of clinic. In the event the student misses a clinic day secondary to the clinic closing or the clinic’s inability to provide CI coverage, the student is required to make-up the missed time. If the facility cannot accommodate missed time, the student may be required to complete missed time at another facility or complete an alternative assignment at the discretion of the DCE to ensure the student’s mastery of the content objectives.

Request for Time Off
Students are not permitted to request schedule changes or days off from their CI/CCCE, even if they intend to make up the time, without prior written approval of the DCE. To request a clinic schedule change or to accommodate a known event, the student must provide a written request with supporting documentation (when appropriate) to the DCE. [Appendix F]. Based on the merits of the request, the DCE may grant the student a change in clinic schedule, if the clinic is able to accommodate the altered schedule. It is expected that all missed clinic time will be made up and, the DCE in coordination with the CI/CCCE, will formulate a plan to that effect.

Please refer to the Class Attendance Policy in the DPT Student Handbook

Inclement Weather
In the event of severely inclement weather (e.g. blizzard, hurricane, tornado) or other states of emergency, the student should ensure their personal safety first. The student is not part of the employed facility and is not expected to respond in these types of events. If an absence occurs due to inclement weather, the student must 1) call the facility to inform the CI/CCE of their absence, 2) immediately following the phone call, the student must send an email to the CI/CCCE, referencing the prior phone call regarding their absence, and must be copied on the email sent to the CI/CCCE.

Religious Observance
The PTRS faculty endeavor to avoid scheduling examinations on major religious holidays and work in conjunction with the School of Medicine (SOM) Scheduling of Academic Assignments on Dates of Religious Observances. If a conflict between a required religious observance and an assigned clinical commitment is foreseen, students are required to complete the Absence Request Form [Appendix F] 3 months in advance of the conflict. Due to the needs and requirements of the clinical facility, the student’s request may not be approved.

Incident Reporting
If there is an unusual event or accident/injury with patients, employees, other students, visitors, or the student, the CI/CCCE and the DCE must be notified as soon as possible. At the time of the event, the student must immediately follow up with an email to the CI/CCCE, referencing the event and copy on the email. The student must fill out a University of Maryland School of Medicine incident report and PTRS is required to notify the liability insurance carrier for PTRS. The facility may also require an incident report.

Documentation and Charting
Documentation needs to be timely, accurate, thorough, and concise. Each facility will have standards for documentation to which the student must adhere. For full-time clinical internships, it is recommended that the student become acquainted with the facility’s documentation style and system. The following are general documentation guidelines:

  • Patient charts may never be removed from the facility.
  • Charts should not be left in treatment areas when the student or clinic staff member is not present.
  • Patients may not have access to their medical record unless they have gone through the appropriate procedures as determined by the facility.
  • All documentation should be satisfactorily completed prior to the end of each clinical day.
  • Only abbreviations approved by the facility should be used in documentation.
  • All documentation should be legible and use appropriate grammar and punctuation.

Clinical Affiliation Agreements
All facilities must have a clinical affiliation agreement. Please see Policy for Developing New Clinical Facilities.

Student Information Shared with the Facility
In initial confirmation with the facility, the DCE shares the student’s name, class year, and general clinical interests (as known), as well as academic objectives and curricular plan for the student’s clinical experience.

Students with approved accommodations through the Office of Educational Support and Disability Services will inform the DCE and their clinical facility liaison of any accommodations that will impact their performance in the clinical setting. The student is required to provide the DCE with their accommodation paperwork prior to contacting their site. The student will share accommodation information with their clinical site liaison upon initial contact. If a clinical site is unable to meet the approved accommodations for the student, an alternative clinical placement will be provided for the student. If necessary, the student and CCCE may communicate earlier than usual in order to prepare for meeting such accommodations.

The student is responsible for sharing with the CCCE/CI all information related to health records, immunizations, and any additional testing required by the clinical facility (criminal background testing, fingerprinting). PTRS does not keep these records on each student.

Additional Site Requirements
Sites may have their own set of requirements for the student to follow. Requirements vary from site to site; particularly, facilities differ on requirements related to criminal background checks and/or drug screen. Additional clinical site requirements can be found on Blackboard.

Section III: Clinical Education Academic Policies

Grading Policies
Block grades are assigned by the DCE. The DCE will utilize feedback provided by the CI in determining the block grade. The student must pass the specific criteria outlined for the Clinical Skills Assessment/Clinical Performance Instrument in order to pass the block.

All written assignments and projects must be passed in order to pass the block and proceed in the curriculum. Specific grading criteria for passing will be outlined by the DCE. A 70.00% grade is required to pass the assignment/project on the first attempt. If the assignment/project is not passed on the first attempt, the student must repeat the assignment/project (within the timeframe established by the Block Leader or instructional faculty) and earn a grade of 75.00%. If passed, a grade of 70.00% will be recorded for purposes of calculating final grades. If the assignment/project is not passed on the second attempt, it will result in failure of the block.

If a student does not achieve the passing standard on the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) [Appendix A], Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI), or assignment, the student will be given an Interim Block Notice (IBN) by the block leader. The IBN will contain information related to the academic deficit and the student is strongly encouraged to meet with the DCE for direct feedback on areas needing improvement. The Director of Faculty and Student Affairs also receives a copy of the IBN. The Director or DCE may employ the Academic Advancement Committee (AAC) to assist in making recommendations to facilitate student success.

Deductions for failure to meet written assignment expectations are as follows:

  • Failure to meet deadlines for written assignments
  • Failure to follow directions
    • 10% from assignment grade

Deductions for any unexcused absence of a mandatory event are as follows:

  • 10% per event (from final grade)
  • Must achieve ≥70% on alternate assignment

Deductions for any unexcused clinical absence are as follows:

  • 10% per event (from final grade)
  • Must achieve ≥70% on alternate assignment

Deductions for any excused clinical absence are as follows:

  • Failure to notify ClinEd/DCE the day of a clinical absence
    • 5% per calendar day (from final grade)

If the CCCE/CI/DCE has concerns regarding the student’s progress, the student will be referred to the AAC for review and recommendation, which may include a Learning Contract [Appendix B] to assist the student and CI to outline key steps to mark successful progression in the internship.

Prior to receiving a final grade, each student must complete a Block Evaluation (ICE and Full Time Internships) and Internship Site Evaluation (Full Time Internship only).

Integrated Clinical Experiences (ICE)
The student must achieve the following:

  • The student is required to attend his or her assigned clinic dates.
  • A completed Clinical Skills Assessment Report marked “satisfactory” or above on each item.
  • Successful completion of all assignments/projects by the due dates published.
  • Grades will be determined based on the course rubric.

Full-time Internships
The grade for internship blocks is a combination of 1) clinical performance, 2) quality of completed assignments, and 3) ethical and professional behavior. The student is responsible for their own academic work and progress. Grades will be determined based on the course rubric.

Clinical Performance Parameters
(60% of block grade)
The APTA’s web-based Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (webCPI/CPI) tool will be utilized to assess clinical performance parameters. This parameter is graded Pass/Fail. Both CI and the student will complete individual copies of the CPI for formal review at both midterm and final. Students are expected to achieve at least the established minimum consistent performance level on each individual competency. In addition, both written and verbal feedback from the CCCE, CI(s) and/or the student at the facility, as well as other data garnered by the DCE weighs in the block grade decision.

Passing levels for the web-CPI are as follows:

  • Internship 1
    • Intermediate
  • Internship 2
    • Advanced Intermediate
  • Internship 3
    • Entry-level

The DCE evaluates that by the end of the final internship the student has received an entry level score on all criteria on the webCPI. The CPI comments, as well as communication with CCCEs/CIs, students and core faculty will be taken into consideration in evaluating the student’s readiness for graduation.


(40% of block grade)

  • Please see Block syllabi for assignments for each block, as well as the passing criteria.

Failure of a student to meet required deadlines will result in a deduction of points from the total grade. Assignments are to be submitted electronically, therefore daily deductions will include weekends and official holidays. The students are responsible for checking the Blackboard Gradebook to assure ClinEd has received all documentation by the deadline. It is the student’s responsibility to determine receipt of all assignments. Given potential electronic difficulties, it is advisable to not wait until the final hour to post assignments.


Reasons for Removal from Clinic (by Facility or PTRS)
May be based upon, but not limited to, any of the following:

  • Inadequate clinical learning environment
  • Failure to progress through requirements outlined on the learning contract
  • Failure to pass the assignment portion of the block grade
  • Failure to achieve a minimum performance level on any of the CPI criteria
  • Inconsistency between performance levels and comments on CPI.
  • At the request of the facility
  • Issues related to safety, professional behavior, interpersonal/communication skills, academic knowledge or professional competency.
    • Breach of professional ethics, legal requirements, or confidentiality (regardless if observed by the CI, DCE, or other professionals)
    • Clinical performance effecting patient care/safety
    • Criminal charges/arrest

Upon removal from the facility, the DCE will assess the student’s learning needs. Based on the results of this assessment, the DCE may direct the student to the Director of Faculty and Student Affairs and/or the AAC for academic advisement.

Section IV: Student Professional Behavior and Communication Standards

Professional Behavior
The student is expected to maintain professional demeanor and appropriate personal hygiene. The student should follow the dress code specified by each facility. Dress codes vary between sites. It is the student’s responsibility to ascertain proper dress code prior to participating in the clinic. If no dress code is specified in advance by the facility, the student should follow the dress code of PTRS, as expressed in the DPT Student Handbook (Guidelines for personal hygiene, hairstyles, and nails are also found in this document). Personal phone calls/texting/emails to/from the student into or out of the facility should be limited to emergency situations only. It is not appropriate to carry a cell phone for personal use during working hours.  Also refer to the Professional Behaviors listed in the block syllabus.

The students must follow the Protected Health Information (PHI) Standards regarding information about patients and their families. This information is strictly confidential. It should not be shared with friends, family, or other health care providers except in need-to-know situations, such as emergencies. Each student is responsible for clarifying each clinical facility’s regulations on confidentiality and information sharing. Each clinical facility is responsible for informing the student of specific confidentiality and/or HIPAA regulations upon orientation to the facility. Any assignments from the clinical experience must be de-identified of all personal information prior to submission to PTRS. Patients also have the right to refuse treatment by a student at any time.

Breach of patient confidentiality is a federal offense and may be subject to penalty under law. Breach of patient or facility confidentiality will result in immediate removal from facility and referral to the Director of Faculty and Student Affairs and the Academic Advancement Committee for review.

Section V: Clinical Education Procedures

Clinical Site Selection / Clinical Assignment Process
The DCE reserves the right to assign clinical placements. Assignment to clinics is based on numerous factors, such as:

  • Availability of facilities with contractual agreement with UMB.
  • Consideration of the sequence and type of internship to provide the best possible clinical experiences for all students.
  • Circumstances beyond the student’s control or foresight.

Due to the facility complexity and rigor, some facilities have greater expectations of performance and productivity and require advanced student skills. Examples include:

  • Interviews and additional screening.
  • Additional training and certification.
  • Block faculty input and block performance/grades

Clinical assignments are subject to change for various reasons, including changes in clinical staffing, suspension of student programming, and the facility closure. If a clinical site is cancelled, the student will be reassigned by the DCE. If the student’s ability to attend clinic is hampered, the student must notify the Clinical Education office as soon as the issue is identified.

The facility CCCE is responsible for CI selection. Upon signing the Affiliation Agreement, a link to the Clinical Education handbook that outlines CI qualifications is provided to the facility. Each CI completes an online demographic survey. If the CI does not meet the PTRS qualifications, another CI will be selected by the CCCE or the student will be reassigned to another facility.

ICE Site Assignments
Students submit a preference form [Appendix C]. The students’ names are randomized and students’ preference for site location or type of setting in one of four quadrants of the Baltimore-Washington region is taken into consideration. However, final placement is based on DCE decision. Every endeavor is made to procure two different types of internship sites during ICE for all students.

Full-time Internship Site Assignments
Electronic requests for clinical site slots are completed by all facilities in the spring of Year One of the curriculum. Requests include the number of students and type of clinical internship the site is able to provide for the student. Clinical Education staff compile the results and students receive an available sites list via Blackboard (Bb). Students may review information about the available clinical sites from the files located on Bb under the Clinical Education General Information Course. This course contains student site evaluation forms from previous cohorts.

Each student submits a form [Appendix D] that includes:

  • Special clinical interests
  • Potential conflicts of interest
  • Potential out-of-domain locations


Students are randomized for site assignment for each internship. A combination of the following will be used for clinical site placement: numbered position from random generator, students’ list of preferences, input from academic faculty, students’ academic and professional performance. The DCE reserves the right to adjust clinical site placements based on facility and student needs. Once the DCE finalizes placement decisions, the results are posted to Blackboard.

Definitions of Clinical Site Requirements 

Medically Complex
Defined as patients with a recent or ongoing medical condition with additional >1 chronic diagnoses (requiring frequent monitoring of physiological stability) in the inpatient setting.


  • Acute-care hospital
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)
  • Transitional Care Unit (TCU)
  • Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Subacute Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Long-term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH)


Elective Rehabilitation Specialties 


  • Hand Clinic
  • Sports/Training
  • Outpatient or Inpatient Pediatrics
  • Women’s Health
  • School System
  • Work Hardening
  • Manual Therapy
  • Home Care
  • Burns


Community Based
Defined as patients/clients that are functioning at a high level in the community.


  • Hospital-Based Outpatient Facility
  • Independent Outpatient Facility
  • Sports/Training
  • Outpatient Orthopedic Rehabilitation Facility
  • Outpatient Neurological Rehabilitation Facility


Conflict of Interest and Site Selection
During the site selection process, the student must provide possible conflicts of interest on the site determination form [Appendix D]. If at any time the student feels that there are additional potential conflicts of interest, it is the student’s responsibility to make this known to the DCE. Failure to do so may result in cancellation or removal from the experience and/or disciplinary action. The DCE has final authority regarding any potential conflicts between students and clinical facilities.

Student declination of a confirmed site
Once a student is confirmed at a clinic site, the student may decline placement at the site by completing the Decline Form [available in RxPreceptor]. By doing so, the student agrees to the following:

  • Ability to graduate on time cannot be guaranteed by the program
  • Site recruitment, rescheduling, and placement of the student’s internship will only occur after the remainder of the class is scheduled, confirmed, and assured initiation of their internship assignments.

Immediately following posting of the results, student names will be sent to the facilities for confirmation of UMB slot availability. Communication regarding confirmations will be done electronically.

Policy for Developing New Clinical Sites
Due to the extensive administrative time needed for establishing new sites, new clinical sites will be established at the discretion of the DCE. New clinical sites will be established based upon the educational needs of the DPT program and the status of the current clinical environment. The DCE’s decisions regarding new clinical sites are final and may not be disputed.

Students are NOT to contact potential sites.

The following are some factors to be considered in developing new clinical sites:

  • Location of the facility
    • Proximity and likelihood of subsequent students utilizing the facility
  • Type of the facility: Medically-complex, Rehab, Community and/or niche practice area
  • Quality of education (does the facility meet the standards established by the PTRS/APTA/etc)


If the student is interested in a facility that is not on the list, the student should contact ClinEd during the selection process.

Section VI: UMB Campus Policies and Resources

All UMB policies apply equally to PTRS students during clinical internships. Since these policies govern aspects of campus life and conduct, students should be familiar with them. All UMB policies can be found at:, including those related to smoking, substance abuse, use of alcoholic beverages, privacy, mandatory reporting, and allegations of discrimination in areas such as race, disability or sexual harassment.

Students may also refer to the Student Answer Book for additional information. The Student Answer Book can be found at: or found on the website for Office of the Vice president:

UMB Counseling Center
The UMB Counseling Center offers confidential counseling services to students. Each student can request up to ten (10) free sessions each academic year. In addition, the Counseling Center provides psychiatric and medication evaluations. To access the Counseling Center services, students need to schedule an intake evaluation with a counselor. The UMB Counseling Center is located in HS/HSL, Suite 440, and at extension 410-328-8404 or


Appendix A - Clinical Skills Assessment

Appendix B - Learning Contract

Appendix C - Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE) Placement Form

Appendix D - Full-Time Internships Wishlist and Contact Form

Appendix E - Site Declination Form (now available in RxPreceptor)

Appendix F - Absence Request Form