Presentation Title

P-22 Achieving Competence: Clinical Instructors' Perspectives

Presenter Status

Chair & Entry-level Program Director, Department of Physical Therapy

Preferred Session

Poster Session

Start Date

30-10-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

30-10-2015 3:00 PM

Presentation Abstract

Introduction: The requirements to become a physical therapist (PT) clinical instructor (CI) are minimal and non- specific. In fact, a definition of CI competence does not exist, nor are there standardized measures or descriptions of the process of becoming competent. Understanding the meaning of competence, and the journey to achieving competence, may provide clarity and direction for future decisions in the clinical education component of PT education. The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of achieving competence as perceived by CIs who have chosen different paths toward becoming effective CIs. Methods: Phenomenological methodology to explore the meaning of clinical instructor competence and the experience of achieving competence from the perspectives of the CIs themselves. Data was collected through focus group interviews and written statements, then analyzed for themes using thematic analysis. Participants: A purposive sample of twenty-nine PT CIs was recruited to participate in five focus groups. Results: An overarching theme of “Empowerment” emerged from the data analysis of the transcriptions and field notes. This overarching theme was supported by eight themes: 1: The meaning of competence, 2: “My first student”, 3: Finding the way, 4: Feeling supported, 5: A fork in the road, 6: Barriers to achieving competence, 7: The “ah-ha” moment, 8: “Ongoing road”. Conclusion: The results of this study provide a description and interpretation of the meaning of clinical instructor competence and the journey of achieving competence. These findings can inform and empower CIs on their own journey to competence. The PT education community and it’s professional bodies can also be informed by these findings in establishing a definition of CI competence.

Acknowledgments

This study was partially funded by a Faculty Research Grant from Andrews University.

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Oct 30th, 2:00 PM Oct 30th, 3:00 PM

P-22 Achieving Competence: Clinical Instructors' Perspectives

Introduction: The requirements to become a physical therapist (PT) clinical instructor (CI) are minimal and non- specific. In fact, a definition of CI competence does not exist, nor are there standardized measures or descriptions of the process of becoming competent. Understanding the meaning of competence, and the journey to achieving competence, may provide clarity and direction for future decisions in the clinical education component of PT education. The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of achieving competence as perceived by CIs who have chosen different paths toward becoming effective CIs. Methods: Phenomenological methodology to explore the meaning of clinical instructor competence and the experience of achieving competence from the perspectives of the CIs themselves. Data was collected through focus group interviews and written statements, then analyzed for themes using thematic analysis. Participants: A purposive sample of twenty-nine PT CIs was recruited to participate in five focus groups. Results: An overarching theme of “Empowerment” emerged from the data analysis of the transcriptions and field notes. This overarching theme was supported by eight themes: 1: The meaning of competence, 2: “My first student”, 3: Finding the way, 4: Feeling supported, 5: A fork in the road, 6: Barriers to achieving competence, 7: The “ah-ha” moment, 8: “Ongoing road”. Conclusion: The results of this study provide a description and interpretation of the meaning of clinical instructor competence and the journey of achieving competence. These findings can inform and empower CIs on their own journey to competence. The PT education community and it’s professional bodies can also be informed by these findings in establishing a definition of CI competence.