Credentialed and Noncredentialed Clinical Instructors: Student and Clinical Instructor Self-Perceptions

Purpose/Hypothesis : The purpose of this study was to compare perceived effectiveness of credentialed and noncredentialed CIs by final year physical therapy students (PT) and by their CIs. CI effectiveness was assessed using the Physical Therapist Student Evaluation (PTSE) and the Modified Self-Assessment for Clinical Instructors (SACI).Number of Subjects : Directors of Clinical Education for 200 accredited PT education programs in the US were invited to participate. Responses were received from 82 students and 60 CIs, with 41 student-CI matched pairs.Materials/Methods : PT students and their CIs completed the PTSE or the SACI using a web-based survey program. They were assigned number pairs to allow matching and comparisons to be made between student assessment of the CI and CI self-assessment. The Mann-Whitney Test was used to look for significant differences between credentialed and noncredentialed CIs by overall median score and individual question, for the SACI and the PTSE (p=0.05). Comparisons were also made between student and CI assessments.Results : Data analysis revealed no significant difference in overall median scores on either of the tools. 1 question on the PTSE and 5 questions on the SACI had significantly higher ratings for credentialed CIs. Areas positively impacted by credentialing included: student-CI collaboration, familiarization with the student evaluation instrument, challenging the exceptional student, fostering student evaluation, and provision of written objectives. A comparison of student and CI responses revealed overall agreement between median scores on the PTSE and the SACI, with the exception of 3 matched pairs in which the studentÕs overall median score was lower than the CIÕs, indicating that there were behaviors which the CI self-assessed as performing always or frequently that the student disagreed with. Specific areas of discrepancy included: clear objectives, timely and constructive feedback, knowledge of learning styles, active listening and student self-assessment. A comparison was also made between CI and student report of CI demographics to determine the accuracy with which students reported on their CIs. Students were fairly accurate when reporting their CIÕs degree level and years of clinical experience; but not as accurate when reporting years of experience as a CI, APTA membership and credentialing status.Conclusions : Although the hypothesis that credentialed CIs would be rated more favorably than noncredentialed CIs was not supported by this study, the results did identify several areas on both of the assessments that may be positively impacted by CI credentialing. Future research is warranted to further determine the extent of this impact, the definition of CI effectiveness, and if there are more sensitive tools to measure CI effectiveness.Clinical Relevance : Clinical education is an integral part of physical therapist education programs, and the impact of the CI is significant. Several organizations offer CI credentialing, however, minimal research has been published on the effectiveness of these programs.

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  • Control #: 1984177
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Lindsay Elchert, Debra Stern, Lisa Dutton, Leah Nof
  • Keywords: Clinical Education

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