Clinical track students engage in an intensive curriculum consisting of 39 required credits and a minimum of 6 elective credits. Didactic coursework in biological sciences comprise a significant portion of the first-year curriculum. Students gain experience working with individuals with medical conditions such as cardiovascular, metabolic, and neuromuscular in which exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment. Students also assist clinical faculty in the WVU Human Performance Laboratory with functional assessment, risk factor modification, exercise prescription, and monitoring hemodymanic responses in populations with various medical conditions.
Another aspect of the clinical track is the clinical internships. They are performed in Phase I (inpatient), and Phase II (outpatient), and Phase III (maintenance) cardiac rehabilitation programs as well as observation opportunities within the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute and Bariatric Surgery. Students are also encouraged to become involved with any of the various clinically related research projects being performed within the Division of Exercise Physiology.
Human Performance Lab (HPL)
Clinical track students spend a large part of the program working and learning at the Human Performance Lab. The HPL provides clinical exercise programs for disease prevention, management, and rehabilitation. The programs are unique in that exercise is prescribed for each participant on the basis of individual needs, limitations, and results of laboratory testing. Participants are provided with an assessment of behavioral and psychosocial risk factors associated with physical health and well-being. The HPL provides patients with the opportunity to improve physical and mental well-being through participation in comprehensive health promotion programs.
Clinical Masters students gain hands on experience by working alongside clinical faculty in the HPL. In the lab, students will master clinical skills such as blood pressure monitoring, pulse measurement, ECG lead placement, ECG interpretation, oxygen saturation, and blood glucose measurement. Students hone their clinical testing skills by assisting faculty in graded exercise testing with the Parvo metabolic system as well as body composition using the Bod Pod/DEXA. Using testing results, students will adi faculty in development and implementation of an individualized exercise prescription for health adults and those with clinical conditions such as heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, cancer, pulmonary disease, and many other diagnoses.