clinical experience, contact hours, doctor of physical therapy, education, interprofessional, multidisciplinary, physical therapy, wound care



  1. Moore, Kelly D. DPT, MBA, PT, CWS
  2. Hardin, Autumn DPT, PT
  3. VanHoose, Lisa PhD, MPH, PT
  4. Huang, Han-Hung PhD, PT


OBJECTIVE: To investigate how wound care instruction is currently delivered within entry-level doctor of physical therapy (DPT) educational curricula.


METHODS: An electronic survey was distributed to 226 DPT programs in the US. The questionnaire contained 27 questions about the characteristics of the wound care instruction as well as the credentials, clinical experience, and teaching experience of the instructors. Descriptive statistics were analyzed for each questionnaire item response.


MAIN RESULTS: The response rate was 22.1% (n = 50). The majority of respondents reported 10 to 29 contact hours of wound care instruction throughout the curriculum. More than half of the programs reported that their students completed a wound care observation in clinical settings. Forty-four percent of programs stated that their students had the opportunity to participate in a clinical rotation focused solely on wound care. All respondents reported that their wound care instructors were physical therapists. Of those instructors, most were seasoned clinicians, and 46% held a wound care-related certification.


CONCLUSIONS: Current entry-level DPT curricula provide physical therapy students with adequate contact hours in wound care and the opportunity for clinical experiences. The instructors are seasoned physical therapists, and nearly half of them hold advanced certification in the content area. Further studies are warranted to investigate how physical therapists practice in wound management in various clinical settings.