Development of Clinical Decision Making Skills with Neurologic Case Studies

Abstract

Clinical decision making (CDM) is often an elusive concept for Physical Therapy (PT) students to comprehend, but it is also a crucial skill to learn to ensure effective outcomes and patient safety. CDM encompasses the ability to utilize knowledge, critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving, current research, ethics, and the concerns of the patient to develop patient-centered care that is safe and effective. æAs the PT profession demands greater autonomy and responsibility for patient management since the American Physical Therapy Association issued Vision 2020 and direct access to PT services is more common, CDM skills have become even more critical. ææEducators and researchers have worked to identify and test various techniques, programs and methods to effectively teach CDM skills to students. æThe literature supports the use of simulated patients to promote CDM skill development in health professionsÍ students, and shows that computerized case studies and simulation are effective for training CDM for patient management and critical care decisions. This pedagogy will be utilized to develop neurologic PT case studies to promote the development of studentsÍ knowledge and clinical reasoning skills, as well as reflection on performance and metacognition. A pilot study will be conducted to examine the ease of use, as well as PT studentsÍ perception of the effectiveness of this teaching method on their CDM skill development.