Event Title

Employer, physical therapy faculty and clinical instructor expectations of newDPT graduates in the acute care setting

Location

Atrium

Format

Poster

Start Date

24-1-2015 4:30 PM

End Date

24-1-2015 5:00 PM

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Entry-level knowledge, skill, and behaviors of novice physical therapists have been reported in the literature. Competencies needed by new graduates in nursing, occupational and physical therapy have also been identified. Entry-level expectations of stakeholders including employers for novice DPTs in the acute care setting have not been published in the literature.

PURPOSE: This study determines the importance and expectations of entry-level characteristics for novice DPTs in the acute care setting, from the perspective of employer (PTE), academic faculty (PTF) and clinical faculty (CI).

METHODOLOGY: A consensus list of 25 entry-level characteristics previously developed through a Delphi process with academic faculty, employers, and clinical instructors in the adult, acute rehabilitation practice setting was used for this study. A link to an electronic survey was distributed to participants. Participants were asked to rate importance of the entry-level characteristics from 'very unimportant' to 'very important' and provide justification for ratings. Participants were asked to describe whether or not novice PTs were meeting expectations in the acute care setting. Study participants (N = 399) were PT academic faculty, clinical instructors, and employers in acute care settings. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square analyses were used to describe the result and demonstrate differences between groups. Content analysis was applied to all narrative responses to determine common themes.

RESULTS: Of the 25 entry-level characteristics, two (safe and reliable) demonstrated greater than 80% of participants across the 3 groups agreed the characteristics are 'very important'. Seven characteristics demonstrated 70-80% participants agreed, with the remaining 16 characteristics demonstrating less than 70% across the 3 groups agreed characteristics are 'very important'. Significant differences in 'important' ratings between the 3 groups were demonstrated in 4 of the 25 characteristics (critical thinking, problem solving, red flag recognition, team player), with red flag recognition agreed by 70-80% in all 3 groups. Most survey participants (82%) indicated new graduates are meeting their expectations. Comment themes from respondents indicating new graduates are not meeting expectations (18%) included lack of knowledge, lack of respect, initiative, and commitment to the profession.

CONCLUSIONS: Nine entry-level characteristics demonstrated greater than 70% combined stakeholder importance ratings; one of the nine characteristics demonstrated significant difference in importance opinion across stakeholders in acute care practice. Differences in participant opinion may stem from interpretation of characteristic definitions or the unique perspective of stakeholders in the preparation of new graduates for entry-level practice in the acute care practice setting. Most new graduates are meeting expectations of the 3 stakeholders studied in the acute care practice setting; however, small percentage are lacking demonstration of affective behaviors and knowledge thought to be necessary for successful acute care practice. It is important for academic faculty to understand the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that are expected in the acute care setting, in order to design academic and clinical education programs that prepare new graduates to practice in the acute setting. Similar studies of other settings were conducted by the authors and results will be compared for future presentations.

IMPLICATIONS: It is important for academic faculty to understand the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that are expected in the acute care setting.

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Jan 24th, 4:30 PM Jan 24th, 5:00 PM

Employer, physical therapy faculty and clinical instructor expectations of newDPT graduates in the acute care setting

Atrium

INTRODUCTION: Entry-level knowledge, skill, and behaviors of novice physical therapists have been reported in the literature. Competencies needed by new graduates in nursing, occupational and physical therapy have also been identified. Entry-level expectations of stakeholders including employers for novice DPTs in the acute care setting have not been published in the literature.

PURPOSE: This study determines the importance and expectations of entry-level characteristics for novice DPTs in the acute care setting, from the perspective of employer (PTE), academic faculty (PTF) and clinical faculty (CI).

METHODOLOGY: A consensus list of 25 entry-level characteristics previously developed through a Delphi process with academic faculty, employers, and clinical instructors in the adult, acute rehabilitation practice setting was used for this study. A link to an electronic survey was distributed to participants. Participants were asked to rate importance of the entry-level characteristics from 'very unimportant' to 'very important' and provide justification for ratings. Participants were asked to describe whether or not novice PTs were meeting expectations in the acute care setting. Study participants (N = 399) were PT academic faculty, clinical instructors, and employers in acute care settings. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square analyses were used to describe the result and demonstrate differences between groups. Content analysis was applied to all narrative responses to determine common themes.

RESULTS: Of the 25 entry-level characteristics, two (safe and reliable) demonstrated greater than 80% of participants across the 3 groups agreed the characteristics are 'very important'. Seven characteristics demonstrated 70-80% participants agreed, with the remaining 16 characteristics demonstrating less than 70% across the 3 groups agreed characteristics are 'very important'. Significant differences in 'important' ratings between the 3 groups were demonstrated in 4 of the 25 characteristics (critical thinking, problem solving, red flag recognition, team player), with red flag recognition agreed by 70-80% in all 3 groups. Most survey participants (82%) indicated new graduates are meeting their expectations. Comment themes from respondents indicating new graduates are not meeting expectations (18%) included lack of knowledge, lack of respect, initiative, and commitment to the profession.

CONCLUSIONS: Nine entry-level characteristics demonstrated greater than 70% combined stakeholder importance ratings; one of the nine characteristics demonstrated significant difference in importance opinion across stakeholders in acute care practice. Differences in participant opinion may stem from interpretation of characteristic definitions or the unique perspective of stakeholders in the preparation of new graduates for entry-level practice in the acute care practice setting. Most new graduates are meeting expectations of the 3 stakeholders studied in the acute care practice setting; however, small percentage are lacking demonstration of affective behaviors and knowledge thought to be necessary for successful acute care practice. It is important for academic faculty to understand the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that are expected in the acute care setting, in order to design academic and clinical education programs that prepare new graduates to practice in the acute setting. Similar studies of other settings were conducted by the authors and results will be compared for future presentations.

IMPLICATIONS: It is important for academic faculty to understand the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that are expected in the acute care setting.