Mount St. Joseph University

DPT Students Participate in Neuro Clinics and an Elective Course in Netherlands

Academics, Graduate Academics, Health Sciences, Doctor of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy

By: Megan Simmermeyer, Amanda Gratsch

File Under: doctor of physical therapy, dpt, global health, neuro clinics

Summer 2017 has been a busy time for the students in the Physical Therapy Department. Department Chair and Associate Professor Rosanne Thomas, PT Ph.D., shared some of the activities Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students participated in during the past few months, such as a summer neuro clinic elective course and a trip to the Netherlands.

DPT Offers Neuro Clinics to Community

This year, the DPT program introduced a neuro clinic course for students to gain professional experience working with patient volunteers from the community. The first neuro clinic, which was part of the Neurological Rehabilitation II course, took place at the Mount’s Health Science Center during the Spring 2017 semester. The spring neuro clinic was held once a week for six weeks, during which time patient volunteers met with second-year DPT students for therapy sessions.

Due to the success of the first clinic, Dr. Thomas says the DPT faculty decided to offer a second neuro clinic over the summer as an elective. The summer neuro clinic was held twice a week for four weeks, and during the course, each student worked one-on-one with a patient volunteer. 

Dr. Thomas says the experience for the students was a positive one. She shared that one student noted how the opportunity allowed them to apply skills learned from last semester and this semester on real patients with neurological diagnosis, improving their confidence on how to treat, modify treatments, and evaluate neuro patients, while also enabling them to get to know their patient and track his or her progression.

Each time the course was offered, Dr. Thomas says they had many willing participants. Both the spring and summer neuro clinic courses had waiting lists of patients hoping to participate, and due to the influx of volunteers and evident need for local community clinics, the course will continue to be offered.

Overall, Dr. Thomas says she has received positive feedback from patient volunteers and their families about their experiences, many commenting on how Dr. Thomas and the students ran a well-organized and structured program. The volunteers also noted that the clinic was an enjoyable experience for them as they got to meet the students and share their current therapy goals and progress as well as creating future goals.

Students Travel to Netherlands for Global Health Program

Also during the summer semester, six DPT students traveled to the Netherlands to participate in a Global Health program. The program was in collaboration with the Health Sciences division of the Netherland’s Hanze University. While the Mount’s DPT faculty helped plan and collaborate with Hanze, the students themselves traveled independently for this exciting opportunity.

The Global Health program, which counted as a summer elective for Mount students, lasted three weeks. During that time, the participating students lived at Hanze University and took classes with other students from all over the world—all while continuing to balance their other State-side summer courses via the Internet and email.

Through their opportunities with the neuro clinics and Global Health program, the DPT students have gained positive, professional experiences that are sure to further their education.

To learn more about the Mount’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, visit our DPT webpage.