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Thriving in transition: from the couch to the clinic

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students, Clinical Instructors (CIs), Site Coordinators of Clinical Education (SCCEs), and Directors of Clinical Education (DCEs) discuss and share ideas as to how students can thrive when moving from the virtual world into clinical practice and beyond.  

Learning objectives 

  • Develop methods for students to ease the transition from virtual learning into clinical practice.
    • Managing the struggle of virtual to in-person clinical experiences: “0-100 mph”
      • What can students be doing to best prepare?
      • What can faculty/CIs do to ease the transition?
  • Discuss ways that students can increase engagement and attention in the virtual learning environment.
    • How to create the same personal expectations as in-person classes
    • Participation and discussion in the virtual environment
  • Develop teaching methods for faculty to assist in the transition back to in-person clinical experiences.
    • Ways for faculty to promote professionalism in a virtual environment
    • Effective strategies for communication from faculty to students
    • Managing student stress and anxiety in preparation for the transition into the clinic
  • Enhance the Clinical Instructor’s knowledge of the student’s virtual experience to assist in easing the transition to clinic.
    • Sharing the CI perspective on pre and post-pandemic clinical experiences.
    • Assisting the student on their first day in the clinical setting—what’s different post-pandemic?
    • Share potential shortcomings and positives of the virtual learning environment for students.
  • Discuss ways for students to have a virtual presence to aide in developing leadership skills.
    • Increasing activity on social media channels
    • Engaging with other professionals virtually
    • Engaging in service virtually
    • Innovation opportunities
  • Provide resources for students, clinical instructors, and faculty related to virtual learning.
    • New resources related to the virtual learning environment

"THRIVE" video: Listen to our speakers describe how they’re thriving in transition, managing the transition from didactic/virtual learning to the clinical experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Student resources


  • Daniel Dale, PT, DPT, Mercer University
  • Kristen Luttrell, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA Assistant Rehabilitation Manager, Sam Swope Care Center Pillars Assisted Care Center, Masonic Homes Kentucky
  • Andrea Maynard, PT, DPT Supervisor of Rehabilitation Services, Saint Joseph Hospital Main, Lexington, KY
  • Trevor Taylor, SPT, University of Kentucky
  • Beth Quinn, PT, DPT, GCS, Bellarmine University


  • Carly Esposito, SPT, Mercer University
  • Carrie Hawkins, PT, DPT, PhD, Whitworth University
  • Darren Joffe, PT, DPT, Temple University
  • Lauren Petrisin, SPT, University of Central Arkansas
  • Cara Schildmeyer, SPT, University of Cincinnati
  • Kenny Wessel, PT, DPT, Charlotte One on One Physical Therapy

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

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