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Desired student characteristics for hand therapy clinical placements: A mixed method study

Published:January 13, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jht.2021.10.007

      Highlights

      • Hand therapy clinical educators desire students with strong interpersonal skills.
      • Hand therapy clinical educators want students to be honest about what they know.
      • Hand therapy clinical educators want students to be willing to self-study.
      • Professional behaviors, clinical reasoning skills, and cultural competence are desired characteristics.

      Abstract

      Study Design: Mixed method design.
      Introduction: Conceptualizing the desired characteristics of a student for a clinical site is vital information during the matching process.
      Purpose of the Study: The objective of this study was to identify the specific student characteristics preferred by the hand therapy clinician educator.
      Methods: A questionnaire was emailed to members of the American Society of Hand Therapists. A semi structured interview was developed to investigate the topic further. Data was collected and analyzed to determine descriptive statistics and themes regarding the preferred student characteristics.
      Results: The most common themes found regarding desired student characteristics by hand therapists were students that possess strong interpersonal skills, a willingness to self-study and learn independently, and students that exhibit professional behaviors.
      Discussion: If students are successfully matched to clinical placements, this may encourage sites to take students in the future and also reduce the need for the clinical educator or university to address problems that arise during the experience.
      Conclusion: Hand therapy clinical educators desire students with strong interpersonal skills, a willingness to self-study and learn independently, demonstrate professionalism and clinical reasoning skills, who possess a sincere interest in hand therapy and demonstrate cultural competence when interacting with patients from different backgrounds and social environments. Finally, hand therapy clinical educators want students to be honest about what they know and what they don't know regarding hand therapy.

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