Beyond Acute Care: Using Interprofessional Simulation Throughout a DPT Curriculum


In 2013, the Commission for Accreditation for Physical Therapist Education (CAPTE) adopted Interprofessional Education Competencies (IPEC) for all physical therapist programs. The use of medical simulation has been shown to promote successful student outcomes such as increased confidence engaging in acute care settings, greater skill acquisition, enhanced interprofessional communication and collaboration, and improved clinical decision making. However, there has been limited use and assessment of simulation within DPT curricula except in acute care despite its importance in all practice areas. This presentation will focus on best practices for implementing simulation throughout a DPT curriculum, and will discuss outcomes of interprofessional simulation use at distinct touch points.


Faculty selected four distinct courses and created unique IPE simulation experiences addressing different IPEC goals. DPT students (n=268) participated in simulation experiences in small groups of students. Structured debriefing by trained faculty immediately followed the simulation to promote reflection and enhance student learning. Faculty have refined and expanded the use of IPE simulation to address additional IPEC goals.


Data revealed: 1) increased professionalism and engagement by students with the health care team in simulation vs. standard laboratory activities; 2) a mismatch between student performance and faculty expectations of students’ knowledge of the role of nurses and physician’s assistants; 3) students described the experiences as realistic and helpful in promoting clinical practice skills; 4) positive student feedback on course evaluations supported simulation as a valuable learning experience. 5) increased engagement with interprofessional team members.

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

Simulation can be utilized as a pedagogical method for meeting CAPTE’s IPEC requirements. This platform demonstrates the ability to develop IPE simulation activities and infuse them throughout the DPT curriculum within multiple clinical content areas and practice settings. Simulation in this program identified it is used for : 1) Fostering the four domains of interprofessional practice 2) Evaluating traditional DPT teaching methods to identify opportunities for IPE simulation and developing strategies to transform traditional course learning activities into simulation experiences; 3) Creating and utilizing assessment methods to measure curriculum outcomes related to IPE.


Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: Report of an expert panel. 2011. Washington, D.C.: Interprofessional Education Collaborative.

Mori, B., Carnahan, H., & Herold, J. Use of simulation learning experiences in physical therapy entry-to-practice curricula: A systematic review. Physiotherapy Canada, 2015. 67(2), 194-202 9p.

Ohtake PJ, Lazarus M, Schillo R, Rosen M. Simulation Experience enhances physical therapist student confidence in managing a patient in the critical care environment. Physical Therapy, 2013;93:216-228.

Poore, J. A., Cullen, D. L., & Schaar, G. L. Simulation-based interprofessional education guided by kolb's experiential learning theory. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 2014; 10(5), e241-247. doi: 10.1016/j.ecns.2014.01.004

Silberman NJ, Panzarella KJ, Melzer BA. Using Human Simulation to Prepare Physical Therapy Students for Acute Care Clinical Practice. Journal of Allied Health. 2013; 42: 25-32.

BACK to Abstract Results

  • Control #: 2527293
  • Type: Platforms
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Kristin Greenwood, Dr. Sheri Kiami, Maura Iversen, Alycia Markowski, Alicia Canali, Mary Hickey
  • Keywords:

BACK to Abstract Results