Section II: The Clinical Education Program and Policies

The Assignment Process

MUSC Criteria for the Affiliation with Clinical Sites

The ACCE maintains a comprehensive list of the clinical education facilities who have established an affiliation with the program. These sites meet the following criteria that are based on APTA recommendations:

1.                  The facility designates a Center Coordinator for Clinical Education (CCCE).

If the CCCE designated by the facility is not a physical therapist, that individual should perform the administrative components of clinical coordination with the program. When the CCCE is not a physical therapist, the Clinical Instructor (CI) should have a mentor or the personal qualifications that demonstrate experience and expertise in order to function without the support typically provided by a physical therapist CCCE.

2.                  Adequate staffs are required to provide the student with a good clinical education experience. Ideally, the physical therapist(s), who serves as CI, practices on a full time basis. If there is a single physical therapist at the facility, there must be a contingency plan for student supervision if the therapist is not available.

3.                  The facility CCCE and CI’s participate in ongoing communication during the planning and preparation of the experience as well as during the experience.

4.                  The CCCE and the staff at the facility value the role of clinical education and clinical instruction in preparation of competent and ethical physical therapist professionals.

5.                  Students receive frequent constructive feedback. Formative feedback occurs on a regular and as needed basis.  Feedback about strengths and weakness provides the student with information about progress towards attainment of goals. Summative feedback includes the formal midterm and final evaluation used to assess student performance.

6.                  The physical therapy service provides an active, stimulating environment for learning. Desirable characteristics include sound patient management, strong leadership within the department, and clinicians that incorporate current clinical evidence into daily practice.

7.                  The clinical experience is designed to meet the objectives of the school, the physical therapy service, and the student. Attainment of these goals often requires flexibility from everyone involved.

8.                  The clinical center provides a variety of learning experiences. Varied learning experiences may include surgery, case conferences, team meetings, community activities, and research.

9.                  The clinical instructors practice legally and ethically. The clinicians at the facility adhere to state standards of practice and APTA code of ethics.

10.              The clinical center is committed to equal opportunity and affirmative action.

The center does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, and disability or health status.

11.              Students are advised of the availability of support services. Essential support services include health care and emergency medical care at student expense, library facilities, and parking. Facilities that do not have healthcare, emergency care or library facilities on site should have a plan for students to access such services in a timely manner.  Other support services that facilitate preparation for the clinical experience and student learning experiences are assistance in locating adequate housing and computer access.

Students may request consideration of a special clinical experience. The student should request sites that meet MUSC criteria. The ACCE examines the quality of the experience from a variety of sources before beginning the contract process.  Special request will be considered if:

  • The request involves a special practice setting of a facility which currently affiliates with MUSC Division of PT.
  • The facility represents a current area of need for the Division of Physical Therapy.

Students requesting a special clinical experience must submit a completed request form before January 15th of the first year for clinical practicum I and January 15th of the second year for clinical practicum II through IV.  There is no guarantee that a clinical experience will result from such request. A maximum of five special request sites will be accepted from one student.

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