Achieving Competence as a Clinical Instructor

Kim Ferreira (Physical Therapy)

Achieving Competence as a Clinical Instructor: The Lived Experience of Clinical Instructors

Background & Purpose
Clinical education is a required component of the PT curriculum; however competence of clinical instructors in the field of physical therapy is not clearly defined. There is a lack of standards and oversight, which negatively influences the quality of clinical experiences.
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study is to understand, interpret and describe the lived experience of achieving competence as a clinical instructor, from the perspectives of the clinical instructors themselves.

Purposeful sampling methods will be used to recruit Physical Therapist Clinical Instructors practicing in the United States.

Semi-structured focus group interviews will be conducted, followed by one-on-one follow-up interviews of 1-2 key informants.

Findings will be presented in a manner consistent with qualitative phenomenology in a written exhaustive description of the lived experience. This description and interpretation will provide a deep and rich understanding of the experience of achieving competence from the perspective of the CI.

Significance and Expected Contributions
The competence of a CI directly affects the quality of clinical education; hearing the voice of experience is imperative. Findings will assist in defining the meaning of competence, in attaining understanding of the process of achieving competence, identify themes that emerge from the data. A deeper understanding of competence will provide a foundation for future research leading to the development of a theoretical model of CI competence, and ultimately, strategies to improve CI competence and the quality of clinical education in physical therapy.

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