Skip to main content

Clinical reasoning skills can be strengthened at any age and at any experience level. Here's advice for both the recent graduate and the experienced practitioner.

Feature - Clinical Reasoning

Do you remember learning to ride a bicycle? You were taught to lift your leg over the bike to get on it, and then how to sit on the seat. Next, you learned where to place your hands on the handle bars. Finally, you learned that when you pushed your right foot down on one pedal, your left foot would come up on the other. Then you would repeat with the left foot, and off you'd go.

If you ride a bike now, you simply get on and go. You automatically know what to do.

What does this have to do with clinical reasoning skills? Actually, quite a lot.

Log in or create a free account to keep reading.

Join APTA to get unlimited access to content.

  1. Fact Sheet: Clinical Reasoning in Pediatric Physical Therapist Practice. Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy (formerly Section on Pediatrics); 2013. Accessed April 22, 2016.
  2. Understanding expertise: connecting research and theory to physical therapy. In: Jensen G, Gwyer J, Hack L, Shepard K, eds. Expertise in Physical Therapy Practice: Applications for Practice, Teaching, and Research. 2nd ed. St Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:40.

You Might Also Like...


The Role of Therapy and Service Animals in Physical Therapy

Oct 1, 2019

As an adjunct to physical therapist interventions, a well-trained animal often can make a difference.


A New Dimension to Physical Therapy

Sep 1, 2019

PTs and PTAs are exploring the uses and potential of 3D printing in clinical practice.


In Praise of Low-Tech Tools

Aug 1, 2019

In an increasingly technological age, mainstay items of physical therapy such as exercise balls, foam rollers, and elastic resistance bands retain their