Procedures and Guidelines

Student Presentations on Placement

Categories: clinical placement presentations Physical Therapy

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Each student is required to do at least two (2) in-service presentations to health care professionals (physical therapists or other health care providers) over the course of the five (5) distinct clinical placements that comprise Clinical Practice Three, Four and Five.  The student may choose during which two clinical placements they wish to deliver the in-service presentations.

In addition, the clinical program at the hospital may require the student to do a presentation as a part of the total learning experience or the caseload management (i.e. to the health care team). Such a presentation may be in addition to the mandatory 2 chosen in-service events mentioned above.

These in-service presentation requirements are required in addition to any education sessions that are delivered to clients as part of client care.  The instructing therapist may note a situation that is particularly suited to a student presentation and may require it as part of the rotation (e.g. a patient education session). Patient education programming that is a part of the regular caseload management approach in a placement does not substitute for the mandatory in-service requirements stated above.

The purpose of in-service presentation requirements in clinical courses for students is to promote development of group educational skills in the clinical setting and to further develop the clinical knowledge base.  Presentations assist student’s preparation for the educational demands of clinical practice such as education to peers, patients, and community groups; speaking at patient case conferences, etc. 

The student should develop confidence and experience in:

(a) Researching, organizing and presenting material in a concise and meaningful manner;

(b) Tailoring communication style to meet the needs of the professional audience.

Types of Presentations

The instructing therapist should be consulted for advice in choosing a topic and type of presentation. The supervising therapist must give final approval to the topic choice and type of presentation.  The following are some examples of types of presentations:

(a) a "case presentation" which may include a history, assessment data, list of problems, summary diagnosis, treatment plan, and a demonstration of one or two physical therapy treatment procedures;

(b) an in-service presentation on a subject or topic of interest (often associated with a particularly interesting patient), or a case study of patient progress over time;

(c)  an in-service session for other staff such as assistants, volunteers, nurses;

(d) an education session for a community group.

It is difficult to outline every situation that may meet the objectives of a presentation.  If the student has any questions as to whether a situation qualifies as a presentation, the instructing therapist and/or Clinical Coordinator should be consulted.

Guidelines for Presentations

The presentation is meant to be a learning experience for the student.  To maximize the experience, and help reduce stress, the instructing therapist may be of assistance as follows.

  1. Discuss the extent of the topic:  The student may be unrealistic about how much material can be covered in the time allowed and may need some guidance to limit the scope of the presentation.
  2. Discuss the audience's level of understanding: The student should be cautioned to use "lay language" when talking to non-medical people, or to use medical terminology when talking to a medically orientated audience.
  3. Discussing the organization of time for the presentation (e.g. amount of time reasonable for sections of the presentation and allowance of time for questions.)
  4. Assistance with administrative details: Organizing time and place, A-V equipment, obtaining patient's permission, locating X-rays, etc.  The student is primarily responsible for researching information and developing the text of the presentation and should be responsible for scheduling and set-up as appropriate for level of training.
  5. The instructing therapist may determine whether it is inappropriate or inconvenient to do a presentation on a particular rotation.

Evaluation of Presentations

The instructing therapist and audience will evaluate the presentation. The evaluation should examine preparation, content, organization, interaction and sensitivity to the audience, use of appropriate A/V aids and presentation style.

Note: If the student does a presentation on placement, the Clinical Instructor should note the presentation title, quality & audience into the comment box at the very end of the demographic information form at the conclusion of the final ACP.