Friday, April 15, 2016

Spring CSU DPT Program Clinical Education Update

DPT Program Professionalism Ceremony 

“Vulnerability is not weakness. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” Brene Brown

This past week at CSU, we celebrated the 5th annual DPT Program Professionalism Ceremony.  This event honors our 2nd year students as they prepare to embark on their first full-time clinical education experiences in a little over a month.  It is truly a celebration of all they have accomplished in the program thus far, as well as the exciting possibilities that lie ahead in the next phase of their DPT education.  During the event, students receive white coats, which symbolize their professional duty to their future patients and their acceptance of the core values of physical therapy.  They also recite an oath and receive a blessing of the hands in front of faculty, peers, and their family and friends who have supported them.  In addition, a keynote address was provided by Mr. Edward Ash, PT, ATC, OCS, COMT, CSCS, winner of the CSU Viking Award in 2015. 

Mr. Ash provided our students with many “tips” as they prepare to head out into the clinic, including: the value of having a mentor across a professional career, the need for therapists to put their own feelings aside and focus on the patient, and remembering that what lies beneath the white coat is what is most important.  However, one final message from Mr. Ash that really resonated with me was his focus on how it is important for students to be vulnerable in the clinical learning process.  As the Director of Clinical Education, I certainly appreciate that while students are excited for their first clinical experience, it is also truly terrifying for them in many ways.  What exactly are students afraid of?  I have asked students to discuss this in the academic setting prior to their first clinicals, and students often note some of the following: not knowing the answer to a CI or patient’s question, saying the “wrong” thing, making a mistake, being unsuccessful, etc.  While I have fully understood their perspective and fears, I have also tried to stress with them that they often learn the most from those “safe learning mistakes” that their CIs allow them to make and grow from.  Mr. Ash emphasized to the students how they need to be more accepting of themselves and the fact that it is normal and “ok” to make some mistakes in the process.  As I think about the role of a clinical instructor, I think it is critically important that we as CIs help students to accept where they are, yet also to push themselves outside of what is comfortable in order to facilitate their continued development. As Dr. Brene Brown suggests, being vulnerable can be a catalyst to tremendous change!    

"For Pete's Sake - Be an Organ Donor" Drive

I want conclude this spring update with a quick moment of remembrance for our clinical education colleague, Peter Mosher, PT, DPT, OCS, former DCE at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, OH.  Dr. Mosher passed away in December 2013 while awaiting a lung transplant.  This April, our CSU DPT students are participating in the 2nd annual "For Pete’s Sake – Be an Organ Donor” Drive, which challenges all PT & PTA schools in our region to register new organ donors on their campus.  If you are interested in becoming an organ donor, you can find additional information at:   

Wishing you all a happy and healthy spring!

Karen McIntyre, PT, DPT – Director of Clinical Education