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The Effect of Early Contextual Learning on Student Physical Therapists’ Self-perceived Level of Clinical Preparedness
Physical Therapy Faculty Research
  • Kevin E. Brueilly
  • T. Kirk Nelson
  • Tamara Gravano, Marshall University
  • Penny G. Kroll, Marshall University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
10-1-2009
Abstract
Context: Students in health care often describe their feelings of self-inadequacy in clinical skills and report these feelings abate with experience. Objective: To determine whether early contextual learning experiences can improve entry-level student physical therapists’ self-perceived level of clinical preparedness. Design: A pair-wise comparison of pre vs. post intervention. Survey of students self-perceived level of clinical preparedness before and after a series of three planned small group contextual learning experiences involving the assessment of actual hospital patients. Setting: Academic institution and associated medical center Participants: Thirty-nine first-year student cohort in the 10th month of a 36-month entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program who had not yet received clinical experience utilizing subjects other than classmates or program associated faculty. Results: Thirty-three (33) subjects completed the pre and post-survey (33/39) for a response rate of 84.6%. Subjects rated both their own personal abilities (p< .001) and the clinical abilities of their classmates (p<.001) as higher following the intervention, indicating that students in an entry-level DPT program have improved perception of their own and of their classmates’ clinical preparedness when employing hospital patients prior to their first clinical affiliation. Conclusions: Early curriculum contextual learning in physical therapist education is valuable in improving student ratings of clinical self-preparedness and of fellow classmates’ readiness to enter the clinic. Additionally, students recognize the benefits provided by contextual learning.
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Brueilly KE, Nelson TK, Gravano TN, Kroll PG. (2009). The Effect of early contextual learning on student physical therapists’ self-perceived level of clinical preparedness. Acute Care Perspectives, 18(3), 6-13.

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Citation Information
Brueilly KE, Nelson TK, Gravano TN, Kroll PG. (2009). The Effect of early contextual learning on student physical therapists’ self-perceived level of clinical preparedness. Acute Care Perspectives, 18(3), 6-13.