Perceived challenges in clinical education: Perspectives from various stakeholders

Purpose/Hypothesis : To gather information from all stakeholders including clinicians, representatives from academic programs, and representatives from clinical facilities, related to current and potential future practices for the clinical education of physical therapy students. In particular, the perceived challenges in providing the clinical education was examined.Number of Subjects : 1,393 physical therapists completed the on-line survey. Respondents held various positions within the physical therapy community.Materials/Methods : The office of the professions of all 50 states were contacted for access to the email addresses of their members. Approximately 17,000 Physical therapists were sent a link to an online survey. Additionally, members of the APTA Education and Orthopedic sections were emailed a link to access the survey.Results : All respondents agreed that reimbursement and changing regulations regarding billing was an uppermost challenge related to the clinical education of physical therapy students. CCCE's, CI's, and Clinical Administrators indicated that the variability of the curriculums within physical therapy education was within the top three challenges while those on the academic side felt that the variability within clinical settings made clinical education challenging. 70% of CCCEÕs, 75% of Clinical Instructors and 84% of Clinical Administrators preferred to take fewer students over a longer period of time as opposed to hosting more students over the minimum time period needed on a given rotation. Fifty percent of clinical instructors and administrators felt their facility could take additional students while only 32% of CCCEÕs felt their facility could take more. All three groups felt that staffing was the main reason why they didnÕt take more. Respondents provided suggestions for both the academic and clinical sites that might facilitate taking additional students.Conclusions : Stakeholders of PT clinical education agree that current regulatory billing policies have placed additional constraints on an already overtaxed physical therapy clinical education system. Continued efforts are necessary on Capital Hill to alleviate the current restrictions on billing by PT students. A large disconnect is apparent between the clinical and academic communities with respect to each groups thoughts on what factors are most challenging related to clinical education. If change within clinical education is to be successful, PT education programs and clinical sites must improve communication efforts and work collaboratively to discuss the different challenges each group faces and then develop possible strategies that are feasible and efficient. In order to do so, clinical education consortia must have sufficient representation from both of these communities. While academic faculty noted 57% involvement in clinical education consortia, CCCEÕs, CIÕs, and clinical administrators noted 20%, 4% and 11% respectfully.Clinical Relevance : Awareness of stakeholder perspectives is necessary to identify needs and to develop plans for effective change.

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  • Control #: 2017373
  • Type: Platform
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Jean F. Timmerberg, Angela M. Stolfi
  • Keywords: clinical education|physical therapy students|challenges

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