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PT 860 Update (sent to DPT Students on 03/25/2020)

As we all continue to navigate a situation in which we have no experience, we must rely on information obtained from respected sources. CAPTE understands the unique circumstances of each program just as those in your class all have unique situations. According to CAPTE in their most recent update, they provide a few key points:

  • CAPTE would have difficulty providing specific direction for individual circumstances in a broad way
  • Guidance CAPTE provides is meant to assist programs in their decision-making processes during this crisis
  • CAPTE does trust that programs will make the right decisions for their programs and students, even if guidance is not explicitly stated in recent correspondence.
  • It is the collective responsibility of the PT&HS Department, CAPTE, and our clinical sites to ensure public protection and student success for graduating students who demonstrate entry-level competence across the continuum of care.

We are constantly receiving ever-changing information from students, Bradley University, the Illinois Governor’s Office, APTA, CAPTE, CDC, clinical partners (SCCEs and CIs) as well as information from other IL DCEs. The agreement right now is that the healthcare industry continues to be an essential function (Bradley, Governor’s office, APTA and the CDC). The most recent announcement from the APTA (3/20/2020) suggested that the profession continue to follow CDC guidelines for continuation of healthcare services. Each clinical affiliation is defining essential personnel at this time and deciding how their definition relates to clinical education.

Here are a few things that continue to be known/unknown at the same time:

  1. Safety is our first priority and we trust that you follow CDC guidelines
  2. How long this will last?– we do not know this. In reference to clinical education there are clinical sites that have been cancelled for the Spring and in some instances on hold for the remainder of 2020
  3. Completion of 28 weeks is NOT the only criteria that must be met for clinical education.  Each program will be different. CAPTE also states that as a doctoral program, students must meet the required depth and breadth of the type of patients treated by physical therapists. This means that our program must verify that students meet curricular objectives outlined in our clinical education course syllabi. A minimum of 28 weeks may not be enough to allow our program to do so.
  4. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to complete your clinical rotation by any particular date – some students have had their clinical rotation put on hold for differing periods of time while others are continuing with their 10 week clinical. This variability prevents a blanket decision about PT 860's completion. 

All students have an option to voluntarily leave their clinical experience during the IL Shelter in Place order (currently effective until 4/7/2020). If you choose this option, you must read and understand the following information:

  • We understand and support every individual in their decision to continue if allowed or to step out. There are no right answers in this situation.
  • You and your CI must fill out the midterm CPI and you must still complete all clinical education assignments.  Please provide me with an email when the CPI and all clinical education assignments are completed. 
  • The clinical education environment is changing rapidly. If a student chooses to step out of a clinical rotation, there is no guarantee that particular site will be available or allow you to return to make up any needed clinical experience.
  • Decisions about necessary make up time for clinical education requirements will be made on a case by case basis dependent on the following items (not an exclusive list): CAPTE guidelines, Bradley University clinical education requirements and goals specific to that clinical experience, CPI results, depth and breadth of experiences thus far.
  • If you do not meet all criteria, you may be asked to complete additional clinical time, assignments, remediation etc. There is no guarantee that these modifications and requirements will be completed in a time frame that will allow you to finish by your graduation date. Students must acknowledge that a delay in graduation is a possibility.
  • If you choose to voluntarily leave your clinical, you must send an email addressed to your CI, the SCCE, Dr. Latva, and Dr. Tippett. In this email include:
    • the effective date of departure
    • the mechanism of how you will assure continuity of care for your patients
    • the date that you and your CI will discuss the midterm CPI
    • a statement of understanding regarding a tentative return to the clinical site (if allowed) and how that will be addressed

As an attachment to another email to Dr. Tippett and Dr. Latva include:

  • a de-identified account of the diagnosis of patients seen to date 
  • the patient’s age group
  • your role in caring for the patient (independent evaluation, co-evaluation, independent development of treatment care plan, co-development of treatment care plan, discharge planning); utilization of supportive personnel;
  • any other pertinent information that demonstrates entry-level performance during this clinical

If your clinical is suspended

  • You and your CI must fill out the  midterm CPI and you must complete all clinical education assignments. Please provide us with documentation of the CPI and any assignments you completed. 
    As of right now all clinical sites have said that students are welcome back, if allowed, during the time frame the student was scheduled to attend
     Based on a comprehensive analysis using CAPTE and Bradley requirement guidelines, it will be determined if you have completed all criteria for graduating
    If you do not meet all criteria, you may be asked to complete additional clinical time, additional assignments, as well as possible remediation. These steps (if deemed necessary) may impact your graduation date. 

For those of you who have asked about continuing with their clinical

  • You are more than welcome to do so as long as all proper safety precautions and CDC guidelines are being followed
  • If you choose to stay, please know that you can change your mind at any time and follow the guidelines above for voluntarily removing yourself from the clinical experience
  • If at any time your clinical is suspended, please contact me as soon as possible to determine next steps.

The key to all of this is early, honest and frequent communication. Please continue to follow CDC guidelines and reach out if you have any questions.


This page is intended to provide information about the novel coronavirus, precautions that are being taken and prevention measures you can take, as well as information on the effects of measures various governments are taking to stem the outbreak.

This page is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical or legal advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.