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Service Learning Center Handbook

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction 
  2. Mission/Vision 
  3. Meeting Location and hours of operation 
  4. Referrals 
  5. Student Participation 
  6. Faculty Participation 
  7. Documentation 
  8. Safety Procedures 
  9. Appendix 


The Service Learning Center (SLC) is a pro-bono physical therapy care delivery entity that was developed by faculty members at The University of Medicine School of Medicine Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science (PTRS). Since 2004 the SLC has offered physical therapy services to underserved populations in and around the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Intervention is provided by first, second and third year physical therapy students under the guidance and supervision of PTRS Faculty members.

Various patient populations have the potential to be treated on an outpatient basis in the SLC and this is dependent upon expert faculty availability and participation. Examples of patient populations include, but are not limited to, individuals who are status post injury of a musculoskeletal, traumatic, neuromuscular and post-acute medical nature.


  • To enhance the dignity and independence of disadvantaged persons living in our community by providing access to an affordable, comprehensive, physical therapy care delivery system.
  • To provide a model of physical therapy intervention and community outreach for our students.
  • Faculty members and Students are dedicated to providing quality health care to under-served individuals in our community.

This commitment is demonstrated by staying current with published literature for providing evidence-supported treatments.

Meeting Location and Operational Hours

The SLC operates out of room 146 in the Allied Health Building - 100 Penn Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Sessions are scheduled to be held 1-2 times per week and are scheduled based upon patient, student and faculty availability.


Referrals are required for a patient to be seen at the Service Learning Center. Referrals may be received from a variety of primary care practitioners and will be filled out on an appropriate form and submitted to the Service Learning Center. Patients who self-refer may fill out the appropriate referral form at the initial visit, complete it and return it to the treating therapist. Patients participating in the SLC include, but are not limited to, those:

  • without health care insurance coverage
  • with health care insurance coverage who have exceeded their benefits and are awaiting reinstatement.
  • who have insurance and would like a second opinion from a physical therapist.

*Patients who obtain insurance coverage during their course of treatment will be followed until the date of their scheduled appointment with a PT provider that accepts said insurance.

** Patients with health insurance may gain referral to other appropriate outside resources as indicated.

Referral Procedures 


  • Individuals can refer themselves to the SLC by calling 410-706-4312 to set up an appointment
  • Individuals can also refer themselves to the SLC via email ( or fax (410.706.6387)

Appointment will be made for next available session

Primary Care Provider 

Providers can submit a referral by phone (410.706.4312), fax (410.706.6387) or email (

Once available session identified the SLC Director or assigned individual will contact patient to schedule appointment. Appointment will be made for next available session.

Walk-in Appointments 

Due to class scheduling restraints the SLC cannot accommodate walk-in appointments. Individuals presenting as a walk-in referral will be encouraged to offer their contact information. The self-referral procedures will be followed as stated above.

*All patients will be instructed to bring all prescriptions, discharge instructions, activity/mobility restrictions with them to their assigned appointment time.

Student Participation

Procedures to volunteer as a student in the SLC 

Student participation in the SLC can occur via different types of educational opportunities. Primarily participation is voluntary, however students may satisfy their Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE) 1 and 2 requirements in the event of a scheduled sites last minute cancellation. Students may also utilize the SLC to fulfill requirements and objectives outlined in an Individualized Academic Preparation Plan (IAPP).

Volunteer Student
A student may volunteer in the SLC if he/she:

  • is enrolled as a matriculating student within the SOM Department of PTRS
  • remains in good academic standing
  • has successfully completed their 3rd PBA in Basic Science Block 3

Student volunteers who meet the qualifications above will be accepted to the SLC on a first come-first serve basis. In the event multiple qualified students wish to participate a sliding scale schedule will be developed to ensure that all students willing to participate will be provided with a minimum of 5 consecutive treatment sessions.

Student participation during ICE (1 or 2)
A student may participate in the SLC to satisfy ICE requirements if he/she:

  • is enrolled as a matriculating student within the SOM Department of PTRS
  • remains in good academic standing
  • has an emergent need for assignment that has been outlined by the departments Director of Clinical Education

Student participation during IAPP
A student may participate in the SLC to satisfy IAPP requirements if he/she:

  • is enrolled in an independent study course (#) outlined by the departments Director of Student and Faculty Affairs
  • has developed, and agreed to, the objectives outlined by both the Director of Student and Faculty Affairs and the SLC Director

Student roles and responsibilities in the SLC 

Students may perform evaluation and intervention techniques only if:

  • the technique has been presented in the didactic portion of the curriculum and the student has received a passing grade for the appropriate performance based assessment aligned with that specific technique/objective
  • direct supervision is provided by the attending faculty member

Any student participating in any SLC activity will be required to attend dressed in professional clinic attire.

Faculty Participation

Procedures to volunteer in the SLC 

Faculty members expressing interest in participating in the SLC are to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Maryland state licensure
  • Hold a faculty appointment issued by the Dean of the SOM
  • Get approval from Department Chair for meeting service requirements during yearly faculty development meeting
  • Carry malpractice insurance
  • Complete training checklist with SLC Director

The participating faculty member will assume responsibility for all interventions provided to a participating patient.

Documentation Procedures

Prior to the initiation of intervention the participating patient must complete/sign:

  • Self-referral demographic form
  • Consent for medical treatment form
  • Acknowledgment of Receipt of Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science’s Notice of Information Privacy Practices

Once documents above are completed and signed they are to be housed in the patients chart.

All documentation should meet minimal requirements as stated by the Maryland Board of Examiners.

  • Initial Evaluation
    Initial Evaluations should be completed following the initial visit of a patient to the Service Learning Center.
  • Progress Notes
    Progress Notes should be completed following every patient visit. Note should be made if the patient did not attend the appointment.
  • Re-evaluations
    Re-evaluations should be completed every 30 days.
  • Discharge Notes
    Discharge notes should be completed upon the discharge from therapy of each patient.

All documentation is to be signed and dated then placed in chart. Documentation will be kept in individualized folders and stored in a locked file cabinet in AHB room 146.

Safety Procedures

Care of Equipment 

Equipment will be wiped clean before and after patient use. The use of sheet and pillow cases will be utilized to ensure patient protection against cross contamination.

Electronic equipment will be serviced annually by biomedical engineering for calibration. Repairs will be performed as indicated.

Equipment that is not functioning properly will be labeled and removed from the treatment area. Biomedical engineering will be contacted and informed. The piece of equipment will not be returned to the treatment area for use during patient care until it is deemed operational by biomedical engineering.


In the event of injury that warrants emergency medical service intervention, dial 711 from the nearest campus telephone (or 410.706.3333 from a non-campus phone). State your name, your location and the nature of the injury. (The phone is located under the computer in 146).

Administer CPR if indicated and send someone for, or access on you own if you are alone, the AED. The closest AED is located adjacent to room 119. The secondary AED location is in the Lobby of the School of Nursing (off to the right as you enter through Lombard Street Entrance) on the west wall.

A first-aid kit is located in the supply closet of room 146 and should be utilized as indicated.

In the event of an injury the adverse event form must be filed within 72 hours of the incident. The Adverse Event form can be found at: 

The Adverse Event form is to be submitted to, and housed with, the Department Administrator upon completion.

Smoking Policy 

No smoking is permitted in the Service Learning Center. If a person wishes to smoke they can be directed to areas that accommodate this practice. This policy pertains to patients and their families, faculty, students and guests.

Fire Procedures 

A. If you discover a fire:

  1. Evacuate the area of danger, isolating the fire by closing doors as you go.
  2. Pull the nearest building fire alarm.
  3. Dial 711 utilizing a University telephone from a safe area and report incident to the operator.
  4. Evacuate the building by marked stairways and exits. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
  5. Individuals who cannot negotiate the stairs must convene at the rescue locations designated by the elevators and wait for assistance
  6. Meet the Baltimore City Fire Department on their arrival and communicate any pertinent information to them.

B. If you hear the fire alarm:

  1. Evacuate the building by use of the nearest marked stairway or exit.
  3. Do not congregate near the building or hamper the firefighting effort in any way.
  4. Wait until the “all clear” has been given before re-entering the building.

C. Fire Drills will be:

  1. Held periodically as a learning experience.
  2. Treated as if a real fire situation is in existence.
  3. Critiqued after each drill by a member of the Division of Risk Management.
  4. In high-rise building, occupants shall go to the nearest stairwell and report to their floor Fire Warden.

D. Additional Fire Protection Information

  1. Fire extinguishers are located throughout the building. All occupants should take time to note the location of the nearest extinguisher to his/her workplace, plus to familiarize themselves with the operation of the extinguisher in the building.
  2. Doors and stairways must always remain in the closed position to prevent smoke and/or toxic fumes from a fire to enter the stairways. Remember, these enclosed stairways are your safe pathway to the outside.
  3. If one exit is blocked by smoke or fire, another exit should be available.
  4. All fires should be reported.
  5. Unplug electrical appliances when on fire.
  6. Smoke (which may contain toxic gases) travels upwards. If a room is smoke filled, get close to the floor and crawl to the nearest exit.
  7. Some buildings are equipped with an automatic sprinkler system that will aid in the protection of life and property. All storage should be maintained at least 18 inches below sprinkler heads.

(Approved by the President, effective September, 1986. From p. 38 of The Student Handbook of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.)


Complaints of any nature can be forwarded to the SLC’s Director, Dr Vincent Conroy in writing. In the event the complaint is pertaining to the director the complaint can be put in writing and directed to Dr. Linda Horn, Director of Academic Affairs and/or the Department Chair, Dr. Mark Rogers.

Contact information

Vincent Conroy
Phone: 410-706-4312

Linda Horn
Phone: 410-706-1950

Mark Rogers
Phone: 410-706-0841