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26 – Patient Simulation Versus Integrated Clinical Experiences for DPT Student Education


Jill Jandreau, Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, UW Seattle


Research Question: Is hybrid patient simulation (SIM) as efficacious in educating DPT students studying acute care as integrated clinical experiences (ICE)?

Context: During a DPT Acute Care course, two different student cohorts participated in SIM or ICE. Hybrid SIM is the use of patient actors to mimic real-life scenarios. ICE are patient care opportunities embedded within a didactic course.

Methods: Our curriculum changed from utilizing ICE to utilizing SIM for teaching acute care skills. The two student cohorts were retrospectively compared using a Mann Whitney U test.

Community dwelling adults were trained to act the patient role for a simple acute care orthopedic case. Students were paired and oriented to SIM. All students received the same patient cases. Debrief immediately followed in which students were able to discuss their clinical reasoning, clarify any misinformation, and get feedback from a faculty member.

When utilizing ICE, students were paired and assigned to observe 3- 4 hours of patient care at a local hospital. Clinical Mentors were asked to mentor students in clinical decision-making in acute care. Students all saw different patients.

Assessment: As part of their clinical rotations, Clinical Instructors (CI) rate students using a Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI). Individual CIs only evaluate one student. The CPI ratings were utilized to compare student performance regarding their differing preparation in acute care.

Results: A Mann Whitney U test showed no significant differences for CI ratings of students on the CPI.
The use of SIM did not decrease student learning.

Application: Evidence-based teaching focuses on active learning and is associated with improved learning outcomes and student engagement. SIM allows students to actively engage and apply knowledge gained in the classroom in a way that is explicitly relevant. Simulation allows the educator to control for consistency in the learning environment and provide scenarios that students may not be exposed to.