Education Leadership Conference

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Purpose: The Early Acute Service Experience program (EASE) is a dual-purpose program that prepares physical therapy students to transition from the academic setting to the acute clinical environment while providing a helpful service to key clinical partners. Methods/Description: This program requirement begins as students are assigned a weekend in the second semester of the DPT curriculum to work with a physical therapist in the hospital. As the first step in their orientation, students complete an e-learning module which focuses on the knowledge, skills, and abilities required in the acute care clinical environment. Once a student has completed the module and successfully passed the quiz, they complete the second step of preparation - a simulation experience led by a faculty member and a clinician from the hospital. After EASE, students complete a written reflection about their experience. Results/Outcomes: The inaugural cohort of students participating in EASE completed their first full-time clinical education experience in May 2021. Objective results regarding student performance and CI perspectives will be shared about their transition to the acute environment following participation in EASE. Anecdotally, reflections from students indicate that EASE has had a positive impact and the goals of the program were accomplished.