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Continuing Education

As part of our program’s goal to educate and create lifelong learners, DeSales University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is pleased to present our evening continuing education series! Each semester, the DPT program will offer several continuing education offerings for area physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to earn continuing education credits.

Each course’s registration fee is $60 ($45 if you are a DeSales’ alumni and/ or if you are or have been a clinical instructor for a DeSales DPT student). As a CAPTE approved provider for physical therapy education, DeSales DPT program is an approved continuing education provider by the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy. All proceeds will benefit DeSales DPT program research and scholarship initiatives.

DPT continuing education courses

  • Spanish for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants / Thursday, February 20th 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

    Thursday, February 20th 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

    DeSales University, Chappuis Hall

    Joshua Kozak, BA, PTA

    Back by popular demand! This 3-hour course will introduce the Spanish language and phrases specific to physical therapy. No knowledge of Spanish is necessary!  We will cover the most common phrases and answers required during examination and treatment sessions to improve physical therapist and physical therapist assistant communication with their Spanish-speaking clients. Handy reference materials will be reviewed and given to all attendees that can immediately be used in the clinic. This course is a must for any therapist in any setting.

    Contact Hours: 3 total contact hours

    DeSales’ DPT Program is an approved provider of continuing education programs by the PA State Board of Physical Therapy


    • Appreciate importance of communication in common language to obtain proper patient information to assist with treatment
    • Review basic Spanish language principles for pronunciation and sentence structure
    • Discuss and practice common phrases and words typically used during therapy examination and treatment



    5:30- 6:30        Importance of proper communication with Spanish speaking patients

    • Common misconceptions
    • Effect of improper communication
    • Not all Spanish is the same- dialect similarities and differences

    6:30- 7:30        Basic Spanish language principles

    • Common pronunciation and sentence structures
    • Common words and phrases to determine home function and setup

    7:30- 8:30        Common Spanish phrases for examination and treatment

    • Basic examination terminology
      • Typical patient responses
      • Basic treatment terminology
      • Typical patient responses

    Joshua Kozak, BA, PTA

    Mr. Kozak graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish with a K-12 teaching certification from Messiah College in 2008. He lived in Spain for 3 years embracing the Spanish culture while teaching elementary and high school students in Siles and Malaga, Spain. Upon returning to the U.S., he taught high school Spanish for several years prior to returning to school and graduating with his Physical Therapist Assistant's degree from Lehigh Carbon Community College in 2018. His passion and knowledge of the Spanish language has proven invaluable in treating numerous Spanish-speaking patients as a member of Physical Therapy at St. Luke's staff. In his spare time, Mr. Kozak enjoys running and photography.

    Register and pay online

  • Heart of the Matter: A Cardiopulmonary Review / Thursday, March 26th 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

    Thursday, March 26th 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

    DeSales University, Gambet Center for Business & Healthcare, Room 138 (Simulation Center)

    Julie M. Skrzat, PT, DPT, PhD, CCS

    This 3-hour course will discuss the importance of the examination and assessment of the cardiovascular and pulmonary system for physical therapy management of all patients, regardless of diagnosis.  We will review the skills needed to perform a physical therapy cardiovascular and pulmonary examination including cardiac and pulmonary anatomy, surface palpation of anatomical landmarks on the thorax, and tests and measures.  Lab will be integrated throughout and include discussion, demonstration, and practice of skills needed to complete a thorough cardiac and pulmonary examination.  Application to various pathologies seen along the continuum of care will be included via high-fidelity simulation manikins and case studies.  This course is designed for PTs and PTAs in any treatment setting (acute care through home care).

    Contact Hours: 3 total contact hours

    DeSales’ DPT Program is an approved provider of continuing education programs by the PA State Board of Physical Therapy



    • Review cardiac and pulmonary anatomy
    • Perform skills necessary to complete a cardiovascular and pulmonary examination on lab partners and high-fidelity simulation manikins.
    • Apply and synthesize results of examination findings via case studies.


    5:30 – 6:00      Overview
    Cardiac and pulmonary anatomy

    Surface palpation of anatomical landmarks on the thorax

    6:00 – 7:30      Cardiac and Pulmonary Examination (includes lab component)
    Vital signs – heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation
    Auscultation – heart and lung sounds
    Additional cardiovascular tests and measures (i.e. circulation, etc.)

    Additional pulmonary tests and measures (i.e. diaphragmatic excursion, etc.)

    7:30 – 8:30      Application to Case Studies
    3 adult and 1 pediatric pathology case reviews

    Will synthesize examination findings to develop therapy plan of care

    Register and pay online

  • Clinical Decision Making: The Medically Complex Geriatric Patient with a Cardiopulmonary Diagnosis / Thursday, April 16th 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

    Thursday, April 16th 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

     DeSales University, Chappuis Hall

    Stephen Carp PT, PhD, GCS

    Course Overview: Clinical decision making (CDM) is a contextual, continuous, and evolving process where data are gathered, interpreted, and evaluated in order to select an evidenced-based choice of action. This course will partner CDM with a case study of a high-risk, problem-prone medically complex geriatric patient with a cardiopulmonary diagnosis.  As the case is presented, the learner will be challenged by “pause points” where data will be presented and the learner is required to make a clinical decision.  The data presented include laboratory and radiographic metrics, vital signs, electrocardiogram tracings, physiological response to exercise, and a variety of pathologies typically related to the geriatric cohort. This three-hour course is appropriate for any therapist or assistant treating medially complex patients. 

    Contact Hours: 3 total contact hours

    DeSales’ DPT Program is an approved provider of continuing education programs by the PA State Board of Physical Therapy



    • Develop a healthy, holistic and reasonable rationale for the CDM process when working with the medically complex geriatric cohort
    • Develop an understanding and appreciation of the importance of one’s clinical decisions and, that on occasion, a negative outcome may occur even when we utilize best evidence, expertise and skilled decision making
    • Define the terms continuum of care and level of care as related to physical therapy in a variety of settings; discuss how these levels impact clinical decision making
    • Construct a clinical examination and assessment flowchart based upon the interpretation of ongoing clinical scripts
    • Describe and incorporates the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals and Sentinel Alert Initiatives and other compliance standards into the CDM progress at each level of care
    • Describe the importance of the integrity-rich patient-therapist collaborative model in the development of a successful evaluation and therapeutic intervention



    5:30-6:00         Course Overview; Introduction to Case; CDM in the Emergency Department

    • Course introduction; Review of objectives
    • Introduction of case
    • CDM in the emergency department


    6:00-7:00         CDM Associated with Data Review

    • Laboratory values
    • EKG interpretation
    • Imaging
    • Interpretation of vital signs


    7:00-8:00         CDM Associated with Evaluation, Assessment and Activity                           

    • CDM related to the physical therapy evaluation and assessment
    • CDM related to physiological metrics associated with activity


    8:00-8:30         CDM Associated with Discharge Planning

    • CDM related to discharge planning

    Register and pay online

  • APTA Clinical Instructor Education and Credentialing Program, April 18-19, 8:00 am

    APTA Clinical Instructor Education and Credentialing Program Sponsored by the DeSales University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

    Saturday, April 18, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Registration 7:30-8:00 AM)
    Saturday, April 19, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    DeSales University, Chappuis Hall

    This program is recognized by the APTA as a Clinical Instructor (CI) Education and Credentialing Program and was developed through a grant funded by the APTA. Participants must attend each session in its entirety and complete the Assessment Center to be eligible for credentialing. Upon success completion of each station of this 15-hour program, APTA Credentialing will be awarded.

    Program format

    Participants have the opportunity to apply information from the program in simulated situations at the six stations of the "Assessment Center." The course and Assessment Center is useful for both new and experienced physical therapist and physical therapist assistant educators involved in clinical education. While the information presented covers the basic skills for clinical instructors, the interactive tasks and large and small group discussions will benefit even the most experienced educators.

    Program topics

    • Overview of the relationship and partnership between the academic program and the clinical site, and the roles of the ACCE/DCE, CCCE, CI and student
    • Planning and preparing for students during their clinical education experiences
    • Developing and facilitating learning experiences in practice tailored to meet specific student needs
    • Developing skills in and supporting ongoing learning through formative and summative evaluations
    • Identifying legal, regulatory, and ADA implications for clinical educators, including issues presented by HIPAA and Medicare
    • Identifying and managing exceptional students and students with problems in clinical education


    Barbara Wagner, PT, DPT, MHA (additional faculty may participate depending on enrollment)


    • $150 APTA Member
    • $220 Non-member
    • $280 Non-physical therapy providers
    • No charge for former DeSales clinical education instructors

    Registration instructions:

    1. Return via email to
      • Participant Dossier (download it and use Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete/sign it)
      • Copy of Participant's valid physical therapy license
      • Copy of valid APTA membership card (if registering under APTA rate for the course)
    2. Pay online securely with credit card 
    3. You will receive an email from Jennifer Howanitz confirming your registration is complete. Registration will only be complete when all documents and payment have been received.

    In order to comply with the APTA deadline, all registration documents and payment must be received no later than March 13, 2020.

    For additional information, contact Jennifer Howanitz by phone at (610) 282-1100, ext. 2857 or email

    Education Program for US Non-Physical Therapy Providers: Persons from disciplines other than physical therapy are permitted to complete the CI Education (didactic curriculum) component of the program. However, they are not eligible nor are they permitted to take the credentialing (Assessment Center) component of the program. Upon successful completion of the CI Education Program, persons from disciplines other than physical therapy will receive a Certificate of Completion of the CI Education Program of 1.2 CEUs. However, because they are not eligible to take the Assessment Center, they cannot receive an APTA CI Credential Certificate. Eligibility criteria for non-physical therapy providers to complete APTA's Clinical Instructor (CI) Education Program includes: a minimum of one year of clinical experience or comparable experience; and completion of the Participant Dossier attesting to clinical competence within the respective discipline in accordance with state laws and regulations as authorized by the individual's direct supervisor.