Structured Observation

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Clinical Education
Structured Observation
Students ought to seek opportunities to observe other rehabilitation team members and healthcare providers during
their clinical internships. Structured observation of patient care with guided questions will facilitate students’
understanding of the roles and contributions of other healthcare providers.
If possible, interview the healthcare professional about his/her education, perspectives on patient care and role in
healthcare delivery prior to the observation activity.
Guided questions for a structured observation:
 What specific problem is being addressed during this treatment session?
 What is the goal of this treatment session?
 What activities are being utilized during this treatment session?
 What are you learning that you can relate back to your own patients’ care?
 How is the healthcare professional adjusting his/her verbal and/or nonverbal communication to meet the
needs of the patient, family or caregiver?
 How is the healthcare professional adapting the care provided to demonstrate consideration of the patient’s
values, preferences and needs?
 What educational interventions are being applied? How can these interventions be enhanced by physical
therapists?
 How is the focus of this healthcare professional the same or different from the physical therapy focus?
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