Mapping and Assessment of a Threaded Acute Care Curriculum Using Entry-Level Core Competencies Established by Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy

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The Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy recently established core competencies for entry-level practice in acute care settings. The purpose of this article is to describe and evaluate a model that embeds the competencies throughout an entry-level curriculum, emphasizes active learning strategies, and facilitates student proficiency in clinical decision making in the acute care setting. Faculty-mapped course objectives, learning activities, and assessment methods to the competencies and identified redundancies and gaps. Student learning was assessed using a variety of activities including computerized modules and authentic simulations. The mapping process led to enhanced coordination and documentation of the competencies throughout the curriculum. Course feedback indicated high levels of student satisfaction with active and authentic learning strategies. Learning outcomes substantiated student attainment of the newly established entry-level competencies. Curricular mapping is an effective strategy to ensure that acute care competencies are embedded, reinforced, and integrated. Active and authentic learning assists students to make the transition from the classroom to the demands of acute care settings. Enhanced student self-efficacy and performance in simulated scenarios provided evidence of their attainment of clinical reasoning skills required for the complex and changing demands of the acute care environment.

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