Development of a CI Mentorship Course to Address the Interpersonal Connection to Student Stress

Purpose: Describe the inception, development, and impact of a mentorship program for Clinical Instructors aimed at providing an evidence-based approach for meeting the needs of today’s DPT student. Discuss the influence that mindfulness has on moderating stress and anxiety for the student learner in the clinic environment. Methods and/or Description of Project: Overview For the purposes of this education session, the presenters will discuss the inception, development, and design of a three-unit mentorship program. The primary aim of this program is to highlight the importance of early identification of the struggling student, and to support clinical instructors as they teach these students. We will present a contemporary shift in terminology that addresses the neuro-behavioral aspects of stress, learning, memory, and patient centered care. As a clinical partner, the academic institution has a mutual responsibility to support the student and clinician using intentional, evidence-based methods. Given an increasingly complex, diverse, and multi-faceted student, it is critical that we bridge the gap between classroom and clinic. We will discuss the demographic of today’s DPT student, describe the relationship between stress and performance, and define the concept of mindfulness. We will examine how taking a proactive stance on building the interpersonal connection can influence the clinical experience. We will also provide an overview of the three units of the mentorship course and discuss how the course supports the evolution of the student as a person. We will share how the course has the potential to uncover unidentified areas of stress for both the student and CI, and how this can influence patient-centered care. Background Stress and anxiety in health science graduate students has been linked to decreased academic performance, decreased confidence, and poor professionalism in the clinic. Graduate school is a time of personal growth, but excess stress can negatively influence clinical performance. In physical therapy education, the concept of self-care is often left to the student or it is addressed using cognitive-behavioral approaches that limit the personal insight needed to dampen the sympathetic nervous system. It appears that the brain-body connection is not yet a deliberate addition to health science graduate education. Teaching our CIs about mindfulness can help foster a connection between classroom and clinic. Providing the tools to connect with today’s DPT student, CIs can feel better supported to meet unexpected challenges and difficult situations. CI Mentorship Course The mentorship program is aimed at addressing the gap that occurs between classroom and clinic, that is further confounded by maladaptive stress behaviors and the demands of the healthcare system. The primary focus is on providing contemporary, evidence-based strategies for today’s clinical instructor that address student stress management, professional behavior, and scaffolding the learning process to foster success. An overview of the three-units of the program and the delivery method will be provided. Results/Outcomes: The mentorship program strives to strengthen partnerships between academic institutions and clinical sites. It also strives to advance physical therapist student education and clinical practice by addressing the deleterious effects of stress on the student. The program will emphasize open dialogue, small group teaching, self-reflection, verbal, non-verbal, and written practices to nurture the student-teacher relationship. Success and future evolution of the mentorship program will be determined by student and Clinical Instructor feedback obtained through written reflection and survey, respectively. Future outcomes assessment will also include client feedback. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The partnership between academic institution and clinical site has historically emphasized cognitive approaches to address cognitive and psychomotor outcomes. The CI mentorship program emphasizes growth and development of the student’s affective domain. It will provide a proactive approach for the CI to identify and address the unique characteristics of today’s DPT student.

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  • Control #: 1959
  • Type: Education Session
  • Event/Year: ELC 2019
  • Authors: Jane Fagan
  • Keywords:

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