Heartland Interprofessional Education Conference (HIPE)

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Background & Purpose

Athletic Training and Physical Therapy students have overlapping, yet unique aspects of clinical competencies and scopes of practice, offering rich potential for interprofessional partnership. University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Doctor or Physical Therapy Education expanded its program to the University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) campus, which boasts a Division II athletic training (AT) program. To create meaningful IPE experiences for both programs (1,2), campus leaders from the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions and UNK sought to create an interprofessional clinic by adding PT care to an existing AT-led pro-bono clinic serving the University intramural recreation community. This project describes the process of integrating services with a focus on educating students in a team-based care model.


An administrative case report framework allows description of the development phases of the collaborative clinic. Details including AT and PT scope of practice, supervision requirements, liability coverage, and clinic resource needs are addressed. Operational considerations regarding student orientation, scheduling and programmatic outcomes assessment are also described.

Results & Outcomes

The outcomes of this clinic partnership are categorized in three key areas. Clarification of roles and responsibilities occurs as students work side-by-side to reach patient goals and lead different aspects of care. Relationships between clinicians, students and referral sources (in and out of clinic) build trust necessary for effective team function, improved communication and patient care. Relationship-building is key for continued clinic success and viability, simultaneously providing a springboard for both programs to meet the IPEC Core Competencies (3). Continued development of assessment of student learning is ongoing. Impressively, the clinic has experienced 157% growth in patient visits and an unexpected impact, reaching students representing ethnic minorities and a student population that is transitioning from school-based IEPs – and is underserved in this region and across the US (4).


Clinic growth and legal practice standards have highlighted the need to implement several new policies and procedures for clinic operations. Scheduling preferences for AT:PT ratios and pairing of Year 1/2 PT students are recommended to establish mentoring relationships and teaching opportunities for upper-level students. Developing a student board will help with scheduling, standardization of documentation and communication between disciplines to ensure well-rounded coverage, facilitating hand-offs and continuity of care. Providing students with ownership of clinic operations may enhance professional responsibility and learning (5).