A Pro Bono Physical Therapy Clinic’s Pandemic Pivot to Telehealth and Its Impact on Student Readiness for a First Full-Time Clinic Experience
Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 led to a multitude of adjustments in physical therapist education. This article will describe the delivery model pivot that a student-run pro bono clinic made to sustain client care and student experience. The change in delivery model also led to a change in care model. The purpose of this study is to explore the impact that the change in delivery and care model within the student-run pro bono clinic had on student readiness for a first formal clinical education experience. Methods: This qualitative investigation utilized participant journals and a focus group to capture participants’ reflections and experiences in the first four weeks of their full-time clinical experience. Content analysis guided the research team in the data analysis. Triangulation, an audit trail, reflexivity, and member checking further enhanced confirmability of findings. Results: Seven participants kept journals and participated in the focus group. Six categories of impact emerged, three because of the change in delivery to telehealth and three due to the change in care model which led to increased continuity of care. The three categories related to telehealth included 1) impact on clinical skills, 2) facilitating communication, and 3) window into their home. The three categories specific to increased continuity of care included 1) clinical reasoning skills, 2) documentation, and 3) client rapport. Conclusions: Telehealth and the increased continuity of care presented advantages and disadvantages to student readiness. Post pandemic, student leaders should consider ways in which they might retain the positive outcomes of the switch in delivery and care model while resuming care in-person.
DuBois B, Clemmer T, Chancler C, Paterson M, Sturgill L, Black JD. A Pro Bono Physical Therapy Clinic’s Pandemic Pivot to Telehealth and Its Impact on Student Readiness for a First Full-Time Clinic Experience. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Jan 04;21(1), Article 7.