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Acute care simulation activities

ACAPT's National Consortium of Clinical Educators (NCCE) engages academic and clinical educators through partnerships to advance excellence and innovation in physical therapist education. NCCE membership is made up of one academic partner and one clinical partner from each ACAPT member institution. If you haven’t already done so, your academic program can join NCCE for free by registering your institution pair.

In this second NCCE resource-sharing webinar, Dr. Henning and Dr. Lee discuss the ICU simulation lab designed to prepare UKPT students for the ICU setting. This team problem-solving approach is designed to integrate classroom and lab learning in a stepwise approach to prepare students for the rigors of acute care practice.

  • Scaffolding this process by first introducing acute care specific didactic material,
  • Providing psychomotor hands-on practice with peers for transfers and therapeutic exercise as well as tube and line management,
  • Then integrating the affective portion of understanding a patient’s perspective to demystify the skills needed for work in the acute care setting.

As a team, students work with a faculty member to take a patient history, proceed to objective examination, and plan and implement a short PT session for a person post-ICU. In addition, they highlight how the ICU simulation was adapted for preparing students for full-time clinical experiences in the acute care setting in lieu of an in-person ICU event.

Learning objectives

  • To familiarize with the hospital bedside environment including identifying common lines and tubes, reading and interpreting basic vital signs, and initiating simple mobility task with a simulated patient.
  • To practice communication skills with a simulated patient including orientation questions, cognitive testing, and directing patients to participate in mobility.
  • To practice, skills learned in classroom and lab in a simulated patient experience including leading patients to perform bed mobility, transfers and ambulation while managing lines and tubes.
  • To develop critical reasoning of how to implement and modify interventions in the hospital for patients with acute illness.


  • Angie Henning, PT, MSPT, Cert MDT, Board Certified Cardiopulmonary Specialist, NCCE clinical partner
  • Kara Lee, PT, DPT, Board Certified Neurologic Specialist, NCCE academic partner.

    If you have any questions, contact events@acapt.org.

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