Train the Trainer: Developing Directors of Clinical Education and Clinical Instructors as Interprofessional Collaboration Champions


Physical therapy education has an opportunity and obligation to educate learners to be “collaborative-ready” providers as part of an interprofessional team. Ideally, physical therapy education programs will incorporate interprofessional education (IPE) initiatives throughout the didactic and clinical curricula. Director of Clinical Education (DCE) and Clinical Instructor (CI) development in IPE and interprofessional collaboration (IPC) is an imperative for all CIs who are supervising DPT learners in clinical environments. Guided by the updated IPEC competencies1 for interprofessional collaborative practice, the interprofessional CAPTE standards2, and the newly articulated IPE by the Nexus3, we propose an interactive DCE and CI development session that introduces several novel, but simple and approachable strategies for identifying, facilitating, and debriefing on IPC opportunities specifically in the clinical environment. We must develop our DCEs and CIs to be the next wave of IPE champions for learners during their clinical education rotations.

Methods and/or Description of Project

The majority of the session will provide DCEs and CIs with opportunities to apply a specific and explicit framework for identifying and debriefing on interprofessional education opportunities in clinical environments. We will introduce the Four Forms of Interprofessional Work by Reeves, et al. (networking, coordination, collaboration, and team-based care)4 and explicitly describe evidence-based examples of interprofessional education and learning occurring in the clinical education setting5. Additionally, we will include opportunities to practice facilitation6 and debriefing7 strategies when capitalizing on these authentic “teachable moments” in the clinical environment. Our goals of the session are to train DCEs and CIs to recognize variations of interprofessional work in the clinical settings and to use the IPEC competencies as a foundation for debriefing with the learner. This DCE and CI development session is designed to challenge CIs to create and/or maximize the interprofessional education opportunities that spontaneously occur in the clinic and/or to facilitate the development of new interprofessional education opportunities where none exist.


Participants and facilitators will generate a list of clinically specific IPC opportunities for DPT learners while on their clinical education rotations. Additionally, participants will practice facilitating and debriefing strategies specifically using the updated IPEC competencies as they relate to the clinically specific IPC opportunities generated during the session. Lastly, participants will be able to articulate the primary benefits to the PT profession by the active and ongoing participation in IPC in the clinical setting.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education

This experiential education session will explore authentic interprofessional collaborative experiences spontaneously occurring (or created) in the PT clinical environments including both outpatient and inpatient settings. DCEs and CIs will practice facilitation and debriefing strategies around these clinically authentic experiences using the IPEC competencies. DCEs and CIs will be able to return to their home institutions to practice with their learners, as well as, train other CIs in these important IPC skills.


1) Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. (2016). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: Report of an expert panel. Washington, D. C.: Interprofessional Education Collaborative.
2) Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Standards and Required Elements for Accreditation of Physical Therapist Education Programs.
3) The “New” IPE. (2017, April 9). Retrieved from
4) Reeves S, Lewin S, Espin S, Zwarenstein M. Interprofessional teamwork for health and social care. 2010: Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
5) Wise H, Frost J, Resnik C, Davis B and Iglarsh A. Interprofessional Education: An exploration in physical therapist education. JOPTE. 2015 29(2); 72-80.
6) Dalhousie University Interprofessional Collaboration in Practice: A Guide for Strengthening Student Learning Experiences. Interprofessional facilitator guide.
7) Rudolph JW, Simon R, Raemer DB, Eppich W. Debriefing as formative assessment: closing performance gaps in medical education. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2008;15(11):1110-1116. PMID: 18945231

Course Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
1) Describe CAPTE standards around IPC in the clinical setting
2) Identify specific examples of IPC in the clinical settings
3) Implement strategies to facilitate IPC in real time in the clinical setting
4) Practice debriefing with the IPEC competencies using clinically relevant physical therapy IPC examples

Instructional Methods

Instructional strategies such as interactive small and large group discussions, think-pair-share, and role-play will be used during our session. This course is specifically designed for DCEs and CIs.

Tentative Outline/Schedule

Introduction Speakers-5 min
Shared definitions and standards-Lecture-5min
Think-Pair-Share activity-10 mins
Small Group Breakout-10 mins
Experiential Activity (faciilation and debriefing around IPEC compentencies using clinically relevant examples)-35 mins
Large Group Synthesis-10 mins
Tips for Successful Facilitation-5 mins
Q & A/ Wrap Up-10 mins

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  • Control #: 2751872
  • Type: Educational Session
  • Event/Year: ELC2017
  • Authors: Ms. Amber Fitzsimmons, Dr. Beth Davis, Stephen Jernigan, Holly Wise
  • Keywords:

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