Qualitative Analysis of Student Physical Therapist Reflective Writing: Does an Interprofessional Discharge Planning Simulation Increase their Understanding of the Role they play In Discharge Planning?
Purpose: The Core Competencies for Entry-Level Practice in Acute Care Physical Therapy provides an expectation of entry-level practice in acute care for physical therapists including discharge planning (DP). Physical therapists (PT), despite having appropriate clinical reasoning and unique skills for determining the functional abilities of patients, are less often a part of the DP process. The purpose of this study was to determine, by use of qualitative analysis of reflective writing, if an interprofessional discharge planning simulation will increase students’ understanding of the role of physical therapy in DP. Methods: Students from physical therapy (n=57), undergraduate nursing (n=36), graduate nurse practitioners (n=2), and social work (n=37) participated in a simulation enhanced interprofessional education (Sim-IPE) DP meeting utilizing simulated participants. DPT students were required to complete a reflection paper on this activity. Reflection papers were reviewed and analyzed to identify trends and main themes regarding the role of physical therapist in the discharge planning process. In addition, and sub-themes were then identified through secondary analysis. Results: Three main themes and seven sub-themes were established based on the direct responses to the reflective questions. The first main theme was that it is imperative to identify the main discharge issue particularly as it relates to patient safety and fall risk and to resolve this issue through the DP process. The second main theme was understanding the roles and responsibilities of an interprofessional DP team. The third theme was the identification of the gaps in knowledge with a lack of understanding of the DP process and insurance regulations. Conclusions: DPT students’ gained better understanding of the PT’s role on the healthcare team as it relates to DP; however, there was a belief that other professions were unaware of the PT’s role. The use of a Sim-IPE DP meeting may improve knowledge regarding the discharge process and the role of the PT.
The authors would like to acknowledge Margaret Murray-Wright, MSN, RN; Kasie White, LMSW; Alan Hackett, LMSW; and Laura Macias, LMSW, CSW-G for their contributions in the planning stages and facilitation during the event; the University of Michigan-Flint School of Health Professions and Studies and Thompson Center Learning and Teaching for financial support; and physical therapy colleagues pre-conference simulation course at the APTA Combined Section Meeting 2016 for planning contributions.
Smith LM, Sachs B, Berg K, Keiser M, Smith LJ, Turkelson C, et al. Qualitative Analysis of Student Physical Therapist Reflective Writing: Does an Interprofessional Discharge Planning Simulation Increase their Understanding of the Role they play In Discharge Planning?. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2020 Oct 12;18(4), Article 12.