Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Perception of Simulated Scenarios Used to Enhance Patient Care Skills
Background and Purpose: Information regarding student perception of the use of simulation education is limited in physical therapy research when compared to nursing. The purpose of the study was to investigate doctor of physical therapy students' perception of the use of simulation education when learning patient care skills in acute and subacute care settings. Case Description: 50 Doctor of Physical Therapy Students in the fourth term of the curriculum were recruited to answer a 10-item survey. Surveyed students were enrolled in the second patient skills course of the program with a focus on patient care skills and interaction in the acute and subacute settings. Outcomes: The same 5 point Likert scale pre and post survey instrument with questions asking students to indicate their level of confidence and level of learning using the simulation training was administered to all students who consented to evaluate the use of simulation in the course The pre-survey was administered during week one of the course, before any learning activities occurred. The post-survey was administered on the last day of class after students completed all simulation activities in the course. Participation in both surveys was anonymous. Fifty students (100%) completed the 10-item survey. The percentage of student who strongly agreed that learning was enhanced by simulation training increased to 93.9% on the post-survey compared to 52% on the pre-survey. Data showed an increase in students’ level of confidence when performing simulation scenarios with 76.6% selecting strongly agreed on the post-survey compared to 48% on the pre-survey. 75.5% of the students on the post-survey indicated that simulation should be an essential part of learning compared to 46% on the pre-survey. Discussion: The results of the survey indicate that student perception appeared to have changed and became more positive as a result of the use of simulation scenarios. The outcome of this case report indicates that the inclusion of simulation training enhances the learning environment and can be a viable learning tool to help students acquire patient care skills that can be applied in acute and subacute care settings.