Clinical Placements

A minimum of 31 weeks of clinical practice are required in the program. A one-week clinical introductory placement is completed in December of the first term and five 6-week placements are dispersed throughout the remainder of the program. During the first year of the program, all placements will be arranged within Alberta. In the second year, students will have the opportunity to request a placement(s) outside Alberta. International placements can be requested for the final placement.

Placements are arranged by the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education at clinical facilities approved by the Department of Physical Therapy. National regulations exist that govern the availability of placements outside Alberta (U of A jurisdiction). Hence, limited placements are available to U of A students outside its jurisdiction.

Students are expected to attend placements arranged to meet their clinical practice requirement. Reasons such as marriage, children and apartment leases are not taken into consideration when allocating placements. Declining a placement will lengthen your program.

Expenses: Placement costs (for example travel, lodging, food, and parking) are the students' responsibility. University fees are levied for placement courses according to the regular fee index charge of the University.

Dress Code: Students may be required to wear a specific uniform at placements. The uniform is the student's expense and will be discussed before entering clinical courses.


Clinical practice pre-requisites

The following are pre-requisites for the first placement. Further details will be provided if you are accepted for admission to the program.

Valid CPR: To begin clinical practice, students must have a valid Basic Life Support (BLS) level CPR certificate. This certification must remain up-to-date annually. Second Chance CPR and First Aid in Edmonton runs CPR courses early in August and dates will be booked for students. Students may choose to take this course or take one independently. The provider must use the Heart and Stroke Foundation Guidelines in order to be acceptable. Red Cross providers that follow the guidelines will also be accepted.

Police Information Check: A Securities Check is required by many sites before they will allow students to begin their placement. They can be obtained through the Edmonton City Police, the Calgary City Police, the RCMP, or a local law enforcement agency. Any fees associated with this requirement are the responsibility of the student. Failure to obtain a clear check may prevent students from completing the clinical requirement of the program. Students from out of province will need to complete the security check in their home province.

Immunization Requirement: To meet patient protection standards suggested by Alberta Health & Wellness, students are required to obtain specified immunizations prior to clinical practice. The form and further details will be provided on admission to the program.

Fit-testing for the N95 respirator mask: To protect against infectious respiratory diseases, students will be fit-tested for a N95 mask before the first placement.

For more information regarding clinical placements, visit this Clinical Education page.