PPDs and Health Forms

  1. How many PPDs do I have to get per year? Two, or a single two-step PPD. This means you will visit the clinic or doctor a total of 4 times for the administration and analysis of the PPDs. You will have to wait between 24 and 48 hours between the administration of the PPD and its analysis. If you wait longer than 48 hours they will not read your results. After your first PPD, you will have to wait at least 7 days until you get your next one, so plan appropriately. Some clinics require additional testing within a 30 day period before your clinic experience begins.

  2. Where can I get a PPD done? And how much do they cost? Most primary care physicians’ offices will complete these. Alternatively, you can visit other walk-in clinics (CVS Minute Clinic, Velocity Care, Doctors Express, etc) or even visit Radford University Student Health Services on the Radford Campus. Make sure to call before you go to ensure that the site you’re considering visiting administers these. Costs vary by site but average around $25/PPD, for a total of $50 for one two-step.

  3. Do I have to have health insurance to attend clinic? Yes. This is a requirement.

  4. Do I have to update my health form every year? Yes, student health forms must be updated yearly or as changes occur.

  5. Do I need to be CPR certified? Yes, you must have and maintain an up-to-date CPR certification verified through either the Red Cross or American Heart Association. The course must include an in-person assessment with mannequins. A copy of this card must be submitted to the drop box during each preclinical semester.


CPI and Weekly Goals

  1. What is required for the preclinical CPI update drop box? You only need an acknowledgment that you are able to access your CPI dashboard and you can see that your CI has access as well. This may be provided in the form of a word document stating your access or a screenshot of the CPI page showing your access as well as your CI’s.

  2. Which categories are the focus of my first clinical? Safety, Communication, and Documentation

  3. Which categories are the focus of my second clinical? Professional Development, Accountability, Cultural Competence, and Plan of Care

  4. When will I need to complete the CPI assessments during clinical? You will complete the CPI at Midterm and Final evaluation during your clinical

  5. How do I complete my CPI? Login to the website and click on “Evaluations” at the top of the screen. Click Edit beside the appropriate evaluation box. Rate each category based on the skills listed and your level of assistance needed. Provide comments with clear examples of your demonstration of these skills in your clinical experience.

  6. What do I do if my clinical instructor does not feel students should be graded as entry level? Explain to your CI that Radford’s program considers any skill the student can perform independently as entry level. You are encouraged to provide examples of how you have displayed independence in certain categories. If a conversation does not persuade your CI, you are encouraged to refer them to Dr. Huth for further conversation on the scoring system. If your CI still does not provide entry level scores, be sure to communicate this with Dr. Huth and establish a plan for attainment of these scores in other clinical experiences.

  7. What happens if I haven’t achieved entry level in all 18 categories by the end of my third clinical? A smart plan will be developed by you, the DCE, your advisor, and the director of the program.  This plan will outline the potential steps necessary to work towards the possibility of additional clinical experiences and graduation requirements. This may affect your graduation time frame and your ability to take the NPTE.

  8. Do my weekly goals need to match the CPI categories I’m working towards each year? It may be helpful to begin your rotation in the first few weeks by setting goals towards just those categories, but then as you progress in your rotation you should expand the scope of your goals to other CPI content areas of focus.

  9. What do my goals need to look like? A good way to formulate your goals is to use the SMART goal framework. SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Here is an example of a goal for the Documentation category: I will write the assessments for >/= 6 established patients with </= 25% assistance from the CI. Though time isn’t mentioned, it is understood that in the weekly goals you will complete them in a week.

  10. How do I submit my goals? See the DCE’s instructions. In general, you may submit a PDF or JPEG to the drop box using the appropriate naming system. Be sure your name is on the all submitted documents.

  11. What’s the best way to set goals? Communicate with your CI as much as possible. You and your CI have been instructed to plan a short meeting on Mondays or (the first day of the week) and at review them at the end of the week. Consider reviewing your next weekly goals during the end of the week meeting.


Background and Drug Screen

  1. When should I complete my background and drug screening? Check the requirements for your specific assigned site first. Some require it within 30 days of your start date. Otherwise ensure you have it in by the date outlined by the DCE.

  2. How long does it take to get results back? It usually takes 1-2 weeks. However, the background company is entitled to take 30 days so communicate with the DCE and your site to plan accordingly to ensure it is in on time.

  3. How often do I have to get a new background test and drug screen? You are required to complete a new background check and drug screen prior to every clinical experience.


Site-specific Requirements

  1. My clinic requires additional paperwork, do I have to complete that as well? Yes. You must complete any additional requirements outlined by your specific clinical site. If you have questions, contact the DCE.

  2. When do I have to submit additional clinical paperwork? By the final due date outlined by the DCE or as provided by the assigned clinical site.

  3. If my clinical site requires additional paperwork do I turn it into the site or the DCE? Turn all documents into the DCE. She will ensure the delivery of all appropriate documents to the site. Keep copies of all documents in your own records to ensure if lost by the site that there is proof of completion as the DCE is required to mail or drop off originals.

  4. My clinical site requires a new physical but I don’t have a family doctor in Roanoke. What do I do? Velocity care, Urgent care, CVS, and Walgreens do general physicals. Check for a specific form required by your site, but otherwise provide proof of physical examination by a licensed physician.

  5. I just found out where I’ll be placed. Should I contact my CI before sending my official Letter of Introduction? Yes, this is encouraged. Sending an email to your CI to introduce yourself and to ask any site-specific questions is absolutely appropriate. Please make sure to use appropriate professional tone in all correspondence with your CI and clinical site.


Attire and Technology Use

  1. Can I wear flats without socks to clinic? Officially, no, but all attire is site specific. Consult with your clinic handbook or ask your Clinical Instructor for specific guidelines. Radford University’s DPT Program requires socks and closed toed/heeled/rubber soled shoes for your safety. 

  2. How do I know what I can wear and what I can’t wear? All attire is site specific. Contact your CI to obtain attire guidelines for your facility. You are required to wear the RUDPT identification tag at all times while in assigned clinical facilities.

  3. My site has no information about what I can and can’t wear. What now? Follow these guidelines directly from the handbook:

    1. Pants are to be ankle length, no denim, no capris, and no shorts. No skirts or dresses.

    2. Footwear should be well maintained and presentable.

    3. Tennis shoes, sneakers, clogs, open-toed or open heel styles are not acceptable. An exception may be made for tennis shoes or sneakers as deemed appropriate by the Clinical Instructor of the site.

    4. Socks or stockings must be worn with shoes.

    5. Shirts and blouses should be tucked in or long enough as to not expose skin when bending, squatting, or transferring patients.

    6. Tattoos should not be within visible sight if possible. Refer to each clinical site’s policies for more information.

    7. For your safety, dangling navel, nose, toe, and earrings are not acceptable.

    8. Minimize rings on fingers as possible.

    9. A white, clean laboratory coat may be required which is to be purchased by student

  4. Do I have to wear my RU SPT badge every day? Yes.

  5. Can I use my cell phone while seeing patients? No.


Absences & Hours to Complete

  1. How do I found out the dates of the next SUMMER clinical rotation? Consult the Radford University academic calendar here. The dates for clinical experiences coincide with “Summer Session III.”

  2. I’m sick. Or, I have a family emergency. What do I do? Contact the DCE as well as your CI as soon as possible. According to the handbook, “Absences other than those pre-approved by both the DCE and the onsite Clinical Instructor will not be tolerated.”

  3. I’m really sick and will miss more than 3 consecutive days. What now? If you will miss more than 3 days due to medical reasons, you must submit a medical release or medical documentation prior to returning to clinic to both your CI and the DCE.

  4. I know now that I’ll have to miss a day. What should I do? All anticipated absences need to be reported to both CI and DCE via email prior to the time/day of the absence. In concert with your CI, you will determine an appropriate course of action to make up those hours.

  5. How many hours must I complete in each clinical rotation? A total minimum of 480 hours which equates to 40 hours/week. Students are expected to attend ALL 12 weeks whether or not 480 hours were previously met or not during week 1-11.

  6. Do I have to work 40 hours per week? No, not necessarily. Your CI may keep a less regular weekly schedule. Your total minimum hours need to add up to 480 you are in compliance with all attendance regulations. You will keep track of your hours on your weekly goal sheets, so make sure to keep a running tally. If at the midterm CPI evaluation you have not completed 240 hours, you will need to explain to the DCE in the CPI how you plan to make up any hours. You must attend ALL 12 weeks of each clinical experience-leaving clinic early is not professional and therefore not acceptable.

  7. My CI only works 4 days a week. Is that okay? As long as your total number of hours will match or exceed 480 hours, your weekly schedule can be flexible. Some CIs work 10 hours, 4 days a week and that is perfectly acceptable. If you have any concerns about meeting the required hours, you should contact your CI and the DCE as soon as possible.

  8. I finished my 480 hours early, can I stop coming to clinic? No, you must complete all 12 weeks regardless.

  9. Can I fail Clinical Education due to absences? Yes. If you miss more than ⅓ of the required hours per clinical (more than 4 weeks or 160 hours), you will receive an automatic failure. Dismissal from the program will depend upon subsequent faculty review based on the Leave and Excuses Policy in the Clinical Education Handbook.


Housing and Meals

  1. If I can't commute to my clinical site, do I still have to find and pay for my own housing? Yes. Students are responsible for providing their own room and board during all clinical experiences. It may be helpful to reach out to fellow students from the area and/or your CI in order to help find housing. Additional financial aid is available as well.


Setting Up a Clinical Affiliation

  1. What are the benefits of helping set up my own clinical site? This can ensure that you are placed where you want to be placed, barring any unforeseen eventualities.

  2. How early should I go about helping set up my own clinical site? Any new clinical affiliations must be notified via email to the DCE (rhuth@radford.edu) AT LEAST 8 months prior to the clinical experience. For this reason, this only applies to second and third clinical experiences.

  3. How do I know if we already have an affiliation with a particular site? Once you have a site in mind, contact the DCE to determine whether or not RUDPT already has an affiliation with that institution/network/site. If not, then the DCE will outline the next appropriate step.

  4. What options for settings do I have each year?

    1. Year I: outpatient rehabilitation, inpatient rehabilitation, or skilled nursing.

    2. Year II: acute/hospital, home health, outpatient rehabilitation, inpatient rehabilitation, or skilled nursing.

    3. Year III (last clinical): any location where physical therapists currently practice including specialties in practice such as pediatrics, women’s health, orthopedics, or worker’s compensation.



  1. How do I know if I can set up a rotation in a particular state? NC-SARA regulations have made certain states “off limits” to RU students. Consult this website and map, http://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions, to determine if your state is off limits or not. You may also consider contacting NC-SARA directly to determine whether or not any changes pertaining to that state are underway.

  2. What is NC-SARA? The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.


Pass/Fail, In Progress, and Grades

  1. In what situations can I fail my clinical? Failure to meet all preclinical requirements (i.e., submission of paperwork); scores tallied below a “B;” SMART plan is not completed or does not meet objectives set forth; less than the minimal accrued hours (480 hours). These will lead to an AUTOMATIC COURSE FAILURE. A student with a failed clinical experience will be dismissed from the program.

  2. What happens if I receive a grade of “In Progress”? You will not be able to graduate at your normally scheduled time. You will have to develop a SMART plan with the DCE and other assigned faculty to make up for any experience lacking in the clinical rotations. All parties named in the plan will have to sign-off on it and the student will have to present it to the DCE.

  3. Who determines my final clinical course grade? The DCE based on the requirements outlined in the course syllabi.