How Are the Most Successful PT Programs Teaching Acute-Care?

Purpose/Hypothesis : Student success in the acute-care setting requires high-level competence in medical knowledge, complex decision-making and 1,2,safety, yet entry-level competencies or curricula standards for preparing physical therapist (PT) students for entry-level practice in the acute-care setting is lacking3. Educational methods, including high fidelity simulation 4 and interprofessional education 5are recommended, but their current use is not well known. The purpose of this research project was to examine what methods are currently used to teach acute-care patient management(ACPM) and identify preliminary information on potential similarities in the most successful programs, to assist in developing curricular standards for entry-level acute-care practice.Number of Subjects : 209 accredited PT programs were invited to participate.Materials/Methods : A 60-item survey was constructed using current literature consisting of four content areas: Demographics, Curriculum, Clinical Education, and Program Evaluation. Two questions asking program outcome measures (average 3 year first-time licensure exam pass rate and number of students that failed inpatient clinical education experiences in past 3 years) were included in the survey. The survey was distributed to all PT program chairs through Qualtrics©.Results : Sixty-seven (32%) programs from across the United States participated. Descriptive statistics categorized the sample and demonstrated a wide variety in responses, which will be presented. Twenty programs (37.74%) that reported ?95% licensure pass rate and 0% inpatient clinical failures were classified as the most successful group. Characteristics of this group included: 75% (95%CI= 53%, 90%) introduced ACPM content in the first professional year; 55%(95%CI=34%, 74%) reported that ACPM is taught in a neurological rehabilitation course; 50%(95%CI=30%, 70%) incorporated IPE into their curriculums; 25%(95%CI=11%, 47%) used high fidelity simulation; 75%(95%CI=53%, 89%) responded they provide students the opportunity to observe the inpatient setting.Conclusions : One third of all programs that responded were classified as most successful. A majority of the most successful programs introduced ACPM in the first professional year, introduced ACPM in a neurorehabilitation course, incorporated interprofessional education, and provided the opportunity to observe the inpatient clinical setting. Despite research on benefits of high fidelity simulation, use of high fidelity simulation was not commonly used in most successful programs.Clinical Relevance : Preliminary data from this pilot study identifies current methods to teach ACPM and attempts to examine commonalities in most successful programs. Results may provide useful information for programs that are designing or modifying acute-care curriculums and may provide insight into common methods in the most successful programs. Further research with a larger sample size on best methods to teach physical therapist students acute care patient management is needed to identify curricular standards for entry-level acute-care practice.

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  • Control #: 2013027
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Morgan Cummings, Cassandra L. Gucwa, Kathleen Hennessey, Kristin C. Greenwood
  • Keywords: Physical Therapy|Acute Care|Curriculum

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