Analysis of the placement process of PT and PTA students in clinical education experiences with a national rehabilitation company

Purpose/Hypothesis : A lack of evidence exists about clinical education (CE) processes for the administration of PT and PTA CE. Anecdotally, there appears to be no standard process by PT/PTA academic programs to assign students to CE experiences. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to describe the process of student placement in clinical rotations for students. .Number of Subjects : PT (n=60) and PTA (n=29) students completing a CE experience with a national rehabilitation company.Materials/Methods : PT and PTA students (SPT/SPTA) were surveyed during a CE at a skilled nursing facility or a long term acute care hospital in 2013. Surveys were completed via electronic means or a hard copy was distributed by a representative of the national rehab company. Questions included geographic information about the academic program, location of the clinical experience, the way in which the CEs were selected, student demographics, and open ended comments. A mixed method study that included qualitative methods using a thematic analysis and descriptive quantitative statistics were calculated.Results : SPTs were predominantly attending academic programs in the East North Central or the West South Central regions of the country (16.67%) vs. 27.59% of SPTAs attended schools in the East North Central region. 50% SPTs attended private institutions, while 75% SPTAs attended public institutions. Approximately 2/3 SPTs and SPTAs had some input regarding their placement, while 1.79% of PT and 27.59% of PTA students had no input before placement. The availability of housing, the type of setting and geographical location of the site all made a difference in student preference for the CE site. 25% of PT students participated in a lottery systems while PTA students were assigned, however large variability was noted. 31.67% SPTs were required to complete a clinical rotation outside of the geographical region of the program vs. 10.34% SPTAs.Conclusions : Students who affiliated with a national rehabilitation company for CE training experienced variable placement processes in how they were assigned. It appears most students had some input into the placement process, but geographical location and availability of housing were key factors in placement. Standardization of clinical education placements may help clinical education sites plan for clinical training, and may assist in the administrative preparations from both the academic and clinical institutions. A universal approach to placements of students on clinical affiliations should be developed and implemented in order to create a more homogeneous clinical education process.Clinical Relevance : Development of ta standardized process to assign CE experiences would further standardize curriculum for physical therapy and physical therapy assistant programs and assist in the transition for a shared approach to the delivery of clinical education.

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  • Control #: 2023735
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Patti Mariano, Kaimee Devore, Stephanie Foster, Christine McCallum
  • Keywords: Clinical education |Placement process

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