Purpose: The most common approach to physical therapy clinical education is the one-to-one (1:1) model. The collaborative clinical education model (CCEM) offers an alternative and beneficial approach to education but is not widely utilized within physical therapy. The primary aim of this study was to explore the experiences and perceptions of clinical instructors (CIs) teaching within the CCEM while also receiving structured support from an academic program. Methods: This study used semi-structured interviews before and after the CCEM experience to explore CI perceptions. CIs received formalized support that included pre-experience meetings, a CCEM Toolkit resource, scheduled follow-ups during the experience, and a post-clinical debriefing. Interview transcripts were analyzed using a qualitative data analysis program and collaborative coding process. Results: CIs’ perceptions of the CCEM shifted following participation. Participants noted a need to be prepared with appropriate teaching strategies, have frequent communication with the academic program, and have a supportive clinical environment. Conclusion: CI participation in the CCEM is challenged by negative perceptions and lack of experience with collaborative learning. CI perceptions of the CCEM can become more positive after actually teaching in the CCEM; therefore, perceived challenges need to be addressed to increase CI participation. The CCEM may be more widely accepted if CIs’ perceived challenges are addressed in partnership with an academic program with intentional CCEM training and support strategies.

Author Bio(s)

Katherine Myers, PT, DPT is an Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education at Duke University's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in Durham, NC.

Alice Davis, PT, DPT is an Associate Professor and member of the clinical education team at Regis University's School of Physical Therapy in Denver, CO.

Shelene Thomas, PT, DPT, EdD is an Assistant Professor and member of the clinical education team at Regis University's School of Physical Therapy in Denver, CO.

Catherine Bilyeu, PT, DTP is a Senior Instructor and member of the clinical education team at University of Colorado's Physical Therapy Program in Aurora, CO.





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