Clinical activities are integrated throughout the three-year curriculum. Integrated part-time clinical experiences take place in local physical therapy clinics and coincide directly with didactic learning activities.
Students complete four part-time clinical rotations over 4 semesters. Full-time clinical practicums take place in clinics locally and nationally. The majority of full-time clinical placements occur within the greater metropolitan Washington area and nearby states. Students complete full-time practicums in 8- or 12-week rotations, at three different clinic sites.
Marymount’s location in the greater Washington metropolitan area provides students with more than 250 local clinic sites, many of them nationally recognized. In addition, the program may be able to provide students with access to clinic placements outside of the Washington D.C. area. All of Marymount’s clinical sites provide a wide range of opportunities for mentored, hands-on learning in urban, suburban, and occasionally rural communities, in settings such as:
- in-patient rehabilitation hospitals
- acute care hospitals
- outpatient clinics representing specialty areas across the range of physical therapy practice: orthopedic and manual therapy, neurological rehabilitation, pediatrics, geriatrics, sports rehabilitation, cardiac rehabilitation, work ergonomics, wellness and health promotion, etc.
- skilled nursing facilities
During clinical rotations, students may manage individuals in a variety of settings. This could include individuals with cardiac dysfunction on a transplant ward, spinal cord injury in a trauma unit, children in an acute hospital setting, athletes in a sports medicine facility, patients with stroke in a rehabilitation hospital or individuals with orthopedic dysfunction in an outpatient clinic.
Because of our small class size, we are able to take an individualized approach to clinic placements. Both the unique needs of student and clinic are considered when making assignments.
A copy of each PT student's medical examination record is required upon admission. Physical therapy students must also provide the following to be updated in Certified Background which is the medical document manager used in our program.
- verification of 2-part testing for tuberculosis or screening if PPD is positive (required annually)
- evidence of the following immunizations or titer: Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella (titer only) and Tetanus/Diphtheria
- valid health insurance
- evidence of certification of American Heart Association CPR for Health Care Providers (adult, child and infant)
- a criminal background check prior to matriculation. This is a federal requirement for all persons working with vulnerable populations
- drug screening prior to matriculation, which is required by clinical agencies
- there may be additional requirements as stated by specific health care agencies
This is an exciting time in the U.S. health care industry and it is a particularly exciting time for the rapidly growing profession of physical therapy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of physical therapists is expected to grow much faster than average. Job opportunities will be good, especially in acute hospital, rehabilitation, and orthopedic settings.”
Patients increasingly recognize physical therapists for their patient-centered care. Moreover, our nation’s aging population should spur an increased need for knowledgeable, skilled physical therapists in a variety of practice settings.