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Abstract

Purpose: To detail the implementation and assessment of a pilot model the Neuro Clinic. This is one component of a Patient Experience Model (PEM) of embedded progressive in-class patient experiences (IcPE) in a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The Patient Experience Model, an innovative model of experiential learning, was developed to bridge the gap between didactic coursework and clinical education, facilitate progressive patient experiences and assess developing student professional and skill competence.

Methods: The Neuro Clinic was held in laboratory classroom space for six weekly sessions with consistent student: patient triads. Overwhelming patient interest indicated a need in our community for such services. With faculty and clinician oversight, second year doctor of physical therapy students conducted an initial examination, developed a plan of care and administrated goal directed activities and exercises that they documented for a medical record. Surveys were conducted with the patient volunteers, the students and the supervising clinicians.

Results: All student documentation and final patient surveys indicated functional and physical improvement. Patient volunteer survey responses consistently indicated the experience met and exceeded expectations. Student survey responses for self-assessment and Clinic logistics, supervision and feedback were positive and detailed.

Conclusion: The Neuro Clinic implementation gave students a way to advance tangible clinical skills and intangible social and professional skills, faculty the means to guide students while bridging the gap between didactic education and clinical application, and addressed community need. This pilot model may be useful to other healthcare programs in their quest to enhance student learning in a way that also benefits multiple constituencies. The Neuro Clinic required minimal resources and was a very positive experience for patients, students and faculty/clinicians. While advancing student development, it fulfilled a service mission congruent to the University.

Author Bio(s)

Rosanne Thomas, PT, PhD is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati Ohio. She has extensive experience incorporating experiential learning in her coursework involving neurological examination and interventions.

Jamie Bayliss,PT, DHSc is Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati Ohio.

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