How to Use the Terms

Tips for using the online glossary at your DPT/PTA programs & clinical education sites

ACAPT and the APTA Academy of Education created this online glossary of common physical therapy clinical education terms

To help provide consistency, please continue to integrate the common terms into your academic programs.  Below is your checklist to keep incorporating these standard terms into your daily operations.  Reminders to your stakeholders will help reinforce the importance of using the glossary.

  • 1. Tell your PT/PTA program directors, directors of clinical education and clinical education site contacts to visit and ask for their support in using the terminology if they haven't already begun using the terms.
  • 2. Review your institution’s handbooks and policy/procedure manuals and update with the physical therapy clinical education common terms per your institution's policies.
  • 3. Ask your program faculty to check syllabi and other course deliverables for consistent use of the terms.
  • 4. Update your program's public website with the terms.
  • 5. Check your course names/descriptions to ensure they are consistent with the terms and update per your institutional policy.
  • 6. Ensure any student handouts used by work study or graduate assistants are using the terms.
  • 7. Ask your clinical education software providers (e.g. Exxat, Acadaware, etc.) to update their platforms with these common terms.
  • 8. Share the terms with any consortia or committees that engage with clinical partners. Ask them to link to the terminology from their websites, newsletters, and social media.
  • 9. Post the common terminology link on your own social media and encourage it be shared.
  • 10. Remind your partners to use when you send letters to clinical education sites and during site visits, to reinforce the importance of this shared common language.
  • 11. Reach out to your clinical partners who serve as Site Coordinators of Clinical Education (SCCEs) & remind them to update their email/memo signature to include SCCE.
  • 12. Use the common clinical education terminology while engaged in discussions with faculty, clinical partners and students and educate them to use the updated language.
  • 13. Discuss the terminology with interprofessional education (IPE) groups for universal language, communication and understanding.
  • 14. Discuss the terminology with intraprofessional groups demonstrating consistency among PT and PTA students, clinicians and academic institutions.
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