Exploring the Impact of ICE on Student Confidence and Preparedness for Inpatient Clinical Environments
Purpose: To observe trends in student confidence in the inpatient setting prior to participation in an integrated clinical education (ICE) curriculum and following ICE participation as measured by the Acute Care Confidence Survey Description: The Acute Care Confidence survey was administered to cohorts within the DPT program beginning with the class of 2018 (starting in fall of 2016). The class of 2018 (CO 2018) cohort participated in four clinic visits throughout the first year of a three-year DPT curriculum, but this cohort did not have a structured ICE curriculum. The CO 2018 Acute Care Confidence Survey results from year 2 of the DPT curriculum are compared with subsequent year 2 cohorts (CO 2019, CO 2020, and CO 2021) to compare trends following implementation and annual refinement of a formal ICE curriculum. The ICE courses are designed to expose students to the inpatient environment and medical acuity in preparation for full-time clinical experiences. Beginning with the CO 2019, year 1 and year 2 Acute Care Confidence Survey results are compared within cohorts to identify potential changes in confidence following purposeful and structured exposure to the inpatient environment. Summary of Use: Reviewing the data from the Acute Care Confidence Surveys to compare cohorts pre and post ICE implementation and to observe trends within cohorts as they advance through the ICE curriculum provides insight regarding the impact of the ICE courses on student preparedness. Considering the national emphasis on preparedness of the DPT student for full-time clinical education, we explore the use of the Acute Care Confidence survey to help shape and refine ICE coursework to foster student preparedness and to address potential gaps in the DPT curriculum. Importance to Members: Acute care clinicians must have the knowledge and skills to address acuity across the lifespan. Safety and efficiency are also critical to effective care in any environment. DPT students today are facing an increasing challenge of learning and achieving competence in a complex and demanding environment when they enter the inpatient setting for a clinical experience. Identifying the effectiveness of the academic preparation of students is critical to ensure student success in the clinic. Our work may offer a model to observe trends in student confidence in the acute care setting to help shape ICE curricula to more effectively prepare student clinicians for the complexity of the inpatient setting.