Directors’ of Clinical Education Perceptions of Student Remediation Processes in Clinical Education
Purpose/Hypothesis: Clinical education remediation for students in health professions education is an opportunity for struggling students to improve deficits such as knowledge gaps,1 poor self-assessments, and ineffective communication.26 Research of physical therapy programs’ remediation practices and processes, and clinical instructor (CI) preparedness is limited.3 This gap in research may affect universities’ ability to effectively aid struggling students in the clinic and add stress on Directors of Clinical Education (DCE). This study aims to determine the perspectives of DCEs on universities’ processes for remediation of Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) students who have failed a full-time clinical education experience and CIs’ preparedness to remediate them. Number of Subjects: 20 Materials and Methods: DCEs were recruited from accredited DPT programs in the United States with exposure to at least one student who remediated a full-time clinical education experience. Semistructured interviews (n=20) were conducted by 5 researchers in-person or via video conference and audio/video recorded for transcription. Questions addressed the definition of remediation, school-specific remediation processes, DCE experiences, and DCE perspectives of CIs’ preparedness to remediate students who have failed. Transcription was completed by a transcription service and checked for accuracy by researchers. Transcripts were coded and analyzed for themes using a grounded theory method. Results: Of the 226 DPT programs contacted, 22 DCEs consented and subsequent interviews were scheduled. One interview was cancelled due to participant no-show and another interview was not recorded due to technical difficulties. Twenty interviews were available for transcription. Five of twenty transcripts were analyzed. Four common categories of themes emerged: definition of remediation, remediation process, DCE role and experience, and CI preparedness. Conclusions: DCEs lack a shared definition for remediation and a commonly defined moment when it begins within DPT programs. Universities have general guidelines for remediation, but DCEs are expected to address individual needs of the students so processes vary. DCEs did not identify exact processes of remediation for their programs, but they generally follow a blueprint and desire more standardized approaches. DCEs’ perceived effort of the remediation process varied, but there was consensus regarding an emotional component to clinical remediation. DCEs believe that the CIs who implement remediation for clinical education experiences possess specific qualities that make them successful, but CIs are generally unprepared to manage students’ affective deficits. Clinical Relevance: Understanding remediation processes of DPT programs can inform the development of standardized remediation approaches. Identification of standardized remediation processes may help DCEs to effectively meet the needs of remediation stakeholders, increase student success, reduce DCE burden, and better prepare CIs for supporting students in the clinic during remedial experiences.