Clinic Directors: Perceptions of Supports Offered by Academic Programs

Purpose/Hypothesis : The demand for quality clinical education student placements is at an all-time high and academic programs have a responsibility to provide professional development supports to promote quality clinical education experiences. Critical decisions regarding clinical education, including decisions about availability of student placements, are made by the directors of clinical sites yet little is known about the perspectives that directors have on clinical education. The purpose of this survey study was to identify directorsÕ perceptions of supports that are offered by academic programs.Number of Subjects : 293 directors of clinical sites.Materials/Methods : The on-line survey items included directorsÕ demographic data and decision-making roles. Directors were asked to rate the frequency of supports offered from a selected list using a 4-point Likert scale (always to never). Participants were also asked to rate their level of interest (very interested to not at all interested) for supports offered from the same list.Results : One hundred and forty-seven subjects completed the questionnaire for a 50% response rate. A majority of the respondents participated in multiple clinical education decisions including: determining the number of student slots (87.8%), contract decisions (78.9%), and the allocation of resources (63.9%). On a scale of 1-10, with 1 rated as extremely dissatisfied and 10 as extremely satisfied with supports received, 38% reported that they were dissatisfied (with ratings of 1-5). A majority of directors reported that they did not know, never, or rarely received the following supports: teaching at the clinical site (83%), mentoring in clinic activities (78%) or in research activities (84%), or clinical faculty appointments (83%). Discounted or free tuition for continuing education courses, college courses, or CI credentialing was reported as rarely or never offered by the majority of the directors. All of the respondents were interested or very interested in having academic programs provide each of the supports identified.Conclusions : Directors perceive that academic programs provide limited supports for the clinical education program and are interested in receiving additional professional development opportunities and supports extended to clinical educators at their sites.Clinical Relevance : As many academic programs increase enrollments and seek additional clinical experiences, a realistic assessment of the supports provided and desired by directors is required. These findings can be used as a springboard for strategic planning by members of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, Clinical Education Special Interest Group, and newly formed National Consortium of Clinical Educators.

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  • Control #: 2026837
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Carol A. Recker-Hughes, Carolyn Padial, Elaine Becker, Maureen Becker, Neville Crick5
  • Keywords: Supports|Directors' Perceptions|Clinical Education

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