What was initially simply a continuing education experience for two therapists has inspired a brand-new program here at Coral Desert Rehabilitation. Recently, a Coral Desert physical therapist, Lindsay Rankin, and a physical therapist assistant, Edwin Stevenson, attended a course to become credentialed clinical instructors. They both enjoy having students, so they were excited to go. After attending the course, they came back with a desire not only to improve their own abilities, but also to help revamp the student program at Coral Desert.

The program was loosely managed before and not standardized from one therapist to the next, so the students often had varied experiences and subjective learning/feedback depending on the therapist. Lindsay and Edwin decided to set a BHAG together to create and implement a better student program based on the principles and recommendations of the course they attended.

With a lot of after-hours work and trial and error with a current student, Lindsay and Edwin were able to create a student resource manual for the clinical instructor. This manual is specific to our building, patient population, etc. and loaded from A to Z with information on how to properly supervise a student of any discipline. They didn’t stop there. They also created a manual for each incoming student, both a PDF file to have prior to arriving and a hard copy for when they get here for reference.

Once both manuals were completed, after many rough drafts, it was presented to our therapy team during an in-service to give an in-depth look at how to use this information and apply it when a student is assigned to a therapist. This has already proved to be valuable with our current students and should continue to be a great resource for students and therapists for a long time to come. Because we have seen a steady increase in the number of students coming to CDR in the past two-plus years, it is just what we have needed since our therapists are at varying levels of experience with having students. We already have seven students committed to CDR from now until November of next year! We are crazy excited about the Passion for learning combined with Ownership shown by our own therapy team, which saw the need and responded in a big way.

Submitted by Asa Gardine, DOR, Coral Desert Rehabilitation, St. George, Utah