Clinical education accounts for a minimum of 30 weeks, or approximately one-third of physical therapy education, and 520-720 hours of physical therapist assistant education. A well-rounded and informed Director of Clinical Education (DCE) or Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education Coordinator (ACCE) can play a significant role in promoting student success throughout the clinical component of their education. The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) identifies the DCE in physical therapist (PT) and Clinical Education Coordinator (CEC) in physical therapist assistant (PTA) programs as a core faculty member with distinct duties related to conducting, coordinating, and evaluating the clinical education program. ACCE is the common title given to CECs in PTA programs. This educational session will provide the novice DCE/ACCE (0-3 years) with an overview of foundational information about the role of the DCE/ACCE, ideas for building optimal clinical relationships, and insights from experienced faculty on challenging situations during clinical experiences.
Methods and/or Description of Project
This educational session will provide foundational information, interactive engagement utilizing small group discussion of principles, and reinforcement of knowledge through exploration of realistic student – clinical instructor (CI) scenarios. The presenters range from novice to experienced faculty in the roles of CI, Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE), DCE, ACCE, and program director, to bring a combination of perspectives on clinical education.
Specifically, the session will consist of three main sections: 1) Laying the Foundation: The Equipped DCE/ACCE; 2) Building Optimal Relationships; and 3) Challenging Clinical Education Situations for the Novice DCE/ACCE. All three areas will be addressed from multiple perspectives utilizing a variety of resources. It's important to capitalize on knowledge from various sources in order to design structures that help foster student success and facilitate a pursuit for innovation.
Laying the foundation will orient the DCE/ACCE to resources for "tools of the trade". CAPTE requirements provide a roadmap to the DCE/ACCE for performance and responsibilities, requiring tracking and reporting. Administrative and budget support must be considered in the design of a clinical education program. Legal counsel may be necessary to draft and enforce policies relating to clinical education issues. Consortium membership provides the resources and mentorship for the novice DCE/ACCE to develop personally and professionally, thus be prepared to foster student success.
Building optimal relationships will focus on ways for the DCE/ACCE to connect with CCCEs and CIs to meet mutual goals. It is important that the DCE/ACCE is able to assess the learning environment, provide opportunity for coaching and mentoring, and explore ways to streamline resources to optimize opportunity for student success. This section will explore ways to foster growth of clinical partners and build relationships utilizing practical techniques, while being respectful of busy clinicians. Additionally, the DCE/ACCE must be able to approach clinical partners in a collaborative manner if the environment is not conducive to student success.
Challenging clinical education situations for the novice DCE/ACCE will address the need to follow regulations, policies, and procedures in handling individual student issues. Options for students who struggle will be discussed. It is important to encourage and foster early reporting by students and the clinical instructors, and investigate and understand issues from all aspects. This section will allow the participant to practice analysis and decision-making using case scenarios involving challenges in the clinical setting with CIs, CCCEs, and students.
The participant will gain knowledge about the DCE/CEC role and responsibilities and will learn to utilize practical tools and resources that can be immediately implemented to effectively foster student success in the clinical environment.
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education
The DCE/ACCE is in a unique position to mentor clinical faculty and facilitate the students’ successful transition from the academic to the clinical setting. Stimulating student learning and success in the clinical setting requires innovation and multiple strategies.
The rapid development of new PT and PTA programs across the country, as well as growth and change in existing programs, places the novice DCE/ACCE in the challenging position of assuring legal accountability and accreditation compliance while positively influencing student achievement. This educational session will provide the beginner DCE/ACCE with information and relatable experience about developing the clinical education component of the curriculum, as well as knowledge and insight to prepare for future challenging student/CI situations.
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Course Objectives: At the completion of the session, the novice DCE will be able to:
1. Identify tools and resources to assist with performance of job responsibilities related to conducting, coordinating and evaluating the clinical education program.
2. Develop relationships that build and sustain academic and clinical partnerships.
3. Apply applicable law and policies to protect the rights of students and facilities.
4. Demonstrate effective communication strategies to investigate issues of student performance in the clinical setting.
Lecture and interactive discussion using case scenarios and video
I. Introduction and Objectives (5 min.)
II. Laying the Foundation: The Equipped DCE/ACCE (25 min.)
III. Building Optimal Relationships (25 min.)
IV. Challenging Clinical Education Situations for the Novice DCE/ACCE (25 min.)
V. Questions & Answers (10 min.)