Interprofessional Simulation in Physical Therapist Student Clinical Experience Orientation


The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of interprofessional simulation in the training and orientation of physical therapist students during clinical education experiences completed in a Veterans Affairs (VA) acute care facility, a medical environment where patients with multiple co-morbidities have rapidly changing and complex conditions.


Participants will complete an online didactic training module followed by a hospital-based patient simulation experience using a high-fidelity mannequin. The focus of the simulation will be twofold: 1) detection of signs and symptoms associated with a patient who is experiencing an abnormal response to physical therapy, and 2) proper management of the deteriorating patient in an acute care setting. A nurse who is a simulation specialist will direct the experience and lead the simulation debriefing.


The Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT CPI) is completed and collected as a standard document within physical therapist clinical education. There will be blinded review of the PT CPI Web 2.0 for the participants in the simulation as well as control participants who do not complete the training as a comparison. Participants will complete a measure of self-efficacy prior to and after completion of the didactic training module and the simulated patient care scenario. Control participants will also complete the self-efficacy measure.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education

To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of interprofessional simulation training for physical therapist students as part of their onsite clinical experience orientation. The VA provides healthcare for over eight million veterans whose medical and psychosocial presentations demand practitioners possess advanced knowledge and skills to meet today’s standards of care. While simulation has been used for decades in other professions (e.g. pilot training) to provide high-fidelity training, the more recent advent of simulation in physical therapy education deserves attention. As we view physical therapy education through a lens of excellence our profession must explore simulation as a valuable educational intervention in both the academic and clinical settings. Physical therapist students must enter their clinical experiences with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to competently provide safe patient care in a dynamic and challenging healthcare environment. Interprofessional simulation is one tool we can use to provide a structured learning experience during clinical experiences to bridge academic training and clinical practice.


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  • Control #: 2519864
  • Type: Platforms
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Dr. Christopher Meachem, Krista Van Der Laan, Kathleen Fisher
  • Keywords:

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