Local Therapists Save the Day

How two therapists (Lindsay Rankin DPT and Edwin Stevenson PTA) changed the landscape of Coral Desert’s student program in under six months.

See a need…

Since Coral Desert Rehab became part of the Ensign family over three years ago, it became painfully obvious through experience that there was a need to grow and systemize the student program for all disciplines. After the DOR began reaching out to local universities and fieldwork coordinators, we started seeing an increase in student affiliations to amazing new levels. Currently we have nine PT/OT/SLP/PTA students scheduled for 2018 and five more committed for 2019 already! Quickly we realized that simply taking students is not enough. We needed to ensure that they are having a positive experience and that no matter the therapist or the student, the instruction/experience is the same and success is optimized for both parties.

…Fill a need!

Both Lindsay and Edwin took it upon themselves to attend a local continuing education course for clinical instructors. After returning from the course, they went to work to implement the suggestions and content from the course. Lindsay first compiled a binder that would be useful for both student and clinical instructor alike, no matter the amount of experience of the therapist or the student.  This binder included resources for:

  • Background and intro
  • Professional behaviors and clinical performance instrument
  • APTA and AOTA policies
  • Weekly planning, patient management and student program development
  • Assessment forms for student, CI and clinical coordinator
  • A site-specific clinical education manual

These resources are used before, during and after the students’ affiliation.

What we have seen so far in under one year

So far we have seen various improvements, some expected and some unexpected.

  • Student preparedness for their affiliation has improved as we have been able to effectively communicate expectations well in advance with them and the fieldwork coordinator.
  • Therapists have resources to use for students who are struggling as well as be more able to augment the learning of those students who are performing well.
  • Therapists are becoming less resistant to taking students when they see the success and ease of other therapists who are more open to take students.
  • Student and therapist dialogue and communication have improved due to the use of regular weekly guided meeting forms for student progress.
  • Student satisfaction with CDR has improved. Fieldwork coordinators are pleased with reports from students about our program and are spreading the word to other discipline coordinators within their schools.

View poster: Student Program Development (PDF format)

By Asa Gardine, DOR/OT, Coral Desert Rehab, St. George, UT