When the pandemic began, LVC physical therapy major Dakota Strohl ’18, D’20, was only about eight weeks into his 16-week clinical rotation. Rather than let that throw his plans off course, Strohl adjusted, excelled, and turned his rotation into a full-time position.
Preparation for clinical education begins in the first professional semester with Clinical Experience I, where students will be assigned to a supervising Clinical Instructor (CI) and have the opportunity to participate in foundational patient care activities such as patient interviews and documentation, examination strategies, and interdisciplinary team interactions while demonstrating professional behaviors in a part-time clinical experience Full Clinical affiliations begin in the summer, immediately following the second professional year. Clinical Education II and III span 14 weeks and occur in the summer between the second and third professional years. Clinical Education IV is the final 16-week affiliation occurring in the spring of the third professional year prior to completion of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and graduation. Students are responsible for tuition, housing, and/or travel expenses depending on clinical placement, including summer clinical affiliations.
Each student will complete a total of 30 weeks of full-time Clinical Education during the professional phase of study. An additional five weeks of clinical experience is spread across the first and second semesters of the first professional year. Students must have access to an automobile for clinical education assignments beginning in the first professional semester. Students should expect to travel and assume housing costs for at least one or more clinical affiliations depending on availability and placement. The cost of housing, meals, and transportation is dependent on the location of the clinical assignment. Clinical sites are available regionally and nationally. All students will complete at least one affiliation outside of Pennsylvania (or out of state). Attempts will be made to accommodate individual needs and desires for clinical placement; however, the Director of Clinical Education makes the final placement decision based on site availability and applicability and student learning needs.
Students are required to complete a health assessment on admission to Lebanon Valley College and again prior to each clinical affiliation. Additional health requirements may be necessary based on the assigned clinical site and may include influenza vaccines, disease immunity verification (measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and hepatitis) through blood tests. Proof of personal health insurance coverage and CPR certification is also required prior to each clinical affiliation.
Clinical affiliation sites may require an interview, criminal background checks, fingerprinting, and/or drug testing prior to student placement. Clinical sites may also require supplemental professional liability insurance in addition to the College's policy. If a student selects a clinical site that imposes any of these or other requirements, the student bears the cost and responsibility to submit the necessary materials in a timely manner to comply with the clinical site's requirements.
A few students have completed clinical experience abroad, including Paige Brocato '17, D'19.