DPT Students Link their Community Service-Learning Experiences to Social Responsibilities in Society and Professionalism

Purpose/Hypothesis : There is an expectation for PTs to be more involved in their communities and become more engaged in practice areas of prevention, health promotion, fitness, and wellness. Several sample indicators of social responsibility described in the APTA document Professionalism in Physical Therapy: Core Values notes that practicing clinicians should demonstrate social responsibility in these areas: provide leadership in the community; participate in collaborative relationships with other health practitioners and the public at large; and understand current community, nation and world issues and how they impact societyÕs health and well-being and delivery of physical therapy. The Code of Ethics charges physical therapists Òto reduce health disparities and health care inequities, improve access to health care services, and address the health, wellness, and preventive health care needs of people.Ó Instilling these core values in students cannot be accomplished within the context of a single course. Professional socialization is a process and requires time to develop throughout the curriculum. The Community Health Initiatives (CHI) 5 course sequence was integrated into our DPT curriculum to teach students to understand and begin to develop their expanding professional roles in communities and society. The purpose of this study was to analyze 6 years of student identified learning outcomes from this course sequence. .Number of Subjects : Participants include students who graduated from 6 cohorts in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Numbers of students represented in each class were: 23, 35, 37, 39, 38 and 41 respectively, a total of 213 students.Materials/Methods : The study used a retrospective, longitudinal case series design, analyzing student identified educational outcomes. Students reviewed CAPTEÕs 66 evaluative criteria, select a minimum of three, most representative of learning outcomes they achieved through the CHI course sequence; and gave specific examples and rationale for each selection.Results : Data from 6 cumulative cycles of this course sequence were analyzed. Students most frequently identified outcomes occurred in 7 CAPTE criteria. Cumulative frequencies were: Social Responsibility and Advocacy-19.6%; Prevention, Health Promotion, Fitness and Wellness-16.9%; Education-11.37%; Compassion and Caring-10.7%; Accountability-9.2%; Cultural Competence-8.7%; and Communication-6.52%.Conclusions : Student identified CAPTE criteria reflected several Professionalism Core Value sample indicators. Community based service-learning experiences were effective in students understanding their professional roles in communities and social responsibilities.Clinical Relevance : Professional roles beyond typical clinical practice that begin during entry-level education may be more likely to carry through to professional and community activities impacting societyÕs health and well-being. Student reflective written comments can provide Self-Study examples of meeting the CAPTE criteria when examples of written tests are not available.

BACK to Abstract Results

  • Control #: 2026806
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Pamela J. Reynolds, Beth Gustafson
  • Keywords: service-learning|social responsibility|professionalism

BACK to Abstract Results