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"They put you on your toes": Physical Therapists' Perceived Benefits from and Barriers to Supervising Students in the Clinical Setting

"They put you on your toes": Physical Therapists' Perceived Benefits from and Barriers to Supervising Students in the Clinical Setting

PhysioTherapy Canada. Physiotherapie Canada 63(2): 224-233

To identify the perceived benefits of and barriers to clinical supervision of physical therapy (PT) students. In this qualitative descriptive study, three focus groups and six key-informant interviews were conducted with clinical physical therapists or administrators working in acute care, orthopaedic rehabilitation, or complex continuing care. Data were coded and analyzed for common ideas using a constant comparison approach. Perceived barriers to supervising students tended to be extrinsic: time and space constraints, challenging or difficult students, and decreased autonomy or flexibility for the clinical physical therapists. Benefits tended to be intrinsic: teaching provided personal gratification by promoting reflective practice and exposing clinical educators to current knowledge. The culture of different health care institutions was an important factor in therapists' perceptions of student supervision. Despite different disciplines and models of supervision, there is considerable synchronicity in the issues reported by physical therapists and other disciplines. Embedding the value of clinical teaching in the institution, along with strong communication links among academic partners, institutions, and potential clinical faculty, may mitigate barriers and increase the commitment and satisfaction of teaching staff.

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Accession: 051010199

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22379263

DOI: 10.3138/ptc.2010-07

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