Patients Who Speak Spanish:Ê The Student Physical TherapistsÕ Perspective Ê

Purpose: Student physical therapists in Texas often treat patients who only speak Spanish.Ê Language barriers between patients and student physical therapists can pose challenges for both the patient and the student physical therapist.Ê There were several purposes for this pilot study.Ê This investigation documented how often student physical therapists treat patients who primarily speak Spanish.Ê The impact of studentsÕ Spanish language skills on the studentsÕ learning experience and the quality of care delivered to patients was also documented.Ê Finally, the need for Spanish language skills to be incorporated in the physical therapist curriculum was examined.Methods/Description: This study was approved by the Texas State University Institutional Review Board.Ê A survey was administered to 3rd year student physical therapists upon completion of their didactic coursework and clinical rotations.Ê The survey included questions about studentsÕ demographics and frequency of treating primarily Spanish speaking patients on their clinical rotations.Ê In addition the survey included questions addressing the students' experiences when treating patients who primarily speak Spanish.Ê Students were also asked if there is a need to include Spanish language skills in the physical therapist curriculum.Ê Descriptive statistical analyses were performed.Ê ÊResults/Outcomes: Thirty-eight 3rd year physical therapist students who completed all of their clinical rotations participated in this study. There were 13 males and 25 females.Ê The average age was 27.9 y/o (SD:3.9) and there were 8 minority participants.ÊFifty percent of participants stated they treated patients who primarily speak Spanish once a week or more often. Fifty percent of participants indicated their Spanish speaking skills diminished the quality of care they delivered to their patients and 16% of participants said their Spanish speaking skills diminished their own learning experience.Ê Ninety-five percent of students surveyed indicated there is a need to incorporate Spanish language skills into the physical therapist curriculum. ÊConclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education: This study documented that student physical therapists on their clinical rotations in the State of Texas often treat patients who only speak Spanish.Ê In this pilot study, student physical therapists perceived that their own Spanish language skills diminished the quality of care they delivered to their patients.Ê To a lesser extent, student physical therapists also perceived that their own learning experience was diminished due to their Spanish language skills.Ê Students overwhelmingly indicated there is a need to include basic Spanish language skills in the physical therapist curriculum.Ê Physical therapist educational programs in regions that include large populations of patients who only speak Spanish may consider including basic Spanish language skills in their curricula. Future studies are needed to investigate the effect of including Spanish language skills on student physical therapists' clinical experiences.References: Masin H. and Tischenko K.Ê Professionalism, Attitudes, Beliefs and Transformation of Learning Experience: Cross-Cultural Implications for Developing a Spanish Elective for Non-Spanish-Speaking Physical Therapist Students.Ê Journal of Physical Therapy Education.Ê 2007;21(3):40-46. Ê Bybee R. and Carlson M.Ê Proficiency in Clinical Spanish: A Pilot Study. Journal of Physical Therapy Education.Ê Ê2004;18(2):87-90. Ê

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  • Control #: 1995620
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: ELC2014
  • Authors: Suzanna D. Okere, Steve Spivey
  • Keywords:

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