COVID-19 Response

Division of Physical Therapy Education Response to COVID-19

As we experience the rapidly changing landscape of physical therapy education, our division continues to keep teaching so students can keep learning. During the spring 2020 semester when we quickly moved to remote education, we triaged what we were doing and made just-in-time transitions. The transformations were possible with faculty and staff collaboration. Together we worked hard to solve difficult dilemmas and consider multiple perspectives.

Our students expect and deserve to continue receiving high quality educational experiences from our expert faculty. This means we had to redesign the educational delivery and schedule to meet the challenge. The Division of PT Education created a plan that is flexible and nimble to changing scenarios that is safe, equitable and inclusive in the new COVID-19 learning environment. We weighed a collection of options that were within the University’s policies and procedures, congruent with accreditation requirements, conducive to meeting learning outcomes for students and practical for faculty and staff to implement.

University of Nebraska President Ted Carter has announced that we will resume in-person learning in the fall, recognizing the enormous value of the on-campus experience. He has armed us with a 19-page playbook developed by UNMC experts to guide our plans. In the midst of a pandemic, as directed health measures change and restrictions loosen, Program Director Dr. Betsy Becker is leading the division as we chart our course, reformulate in-person learning experiences, and balance safety protocols with the challenges of teaching Doctor of Physical Therapy students while also resuming our innovative research projects which impact evidence-based practice. Together with the ingenuity of our faculty and staff with student input, we are working hard to get this right. The Division of PT Education will have a combination of remote education (live and synchronous) with in-person on-campus lab experiences.

Physical therapists are an essential part of the critical infrastructure of workers serving important roles to impact the adverse respiratory and mobility impairments attributed to COVID-19 (U.S. Department of Homeland Security). The need for rehabilitation is expected to increase with the growing number of patients/clients requiring physical therapy to regain movement. The Division is ready to provide ongoing education for physical therapist workforce development.

Additionally, a two-year, across-the-board tuition freeze has been announced to assist students and their families in planning.

We have established plans with our administration and clinical partners to ensure the safety of students and those we serve. Periodically we will update this information.

UNMC Coronavirus Resources

The Division of Physical Therapy is going to “keep teaching so students can keep learning!”