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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 131-132

Patient-based bedside teaching for physical therapists: The need of the hour

Department of Oncology Physiotherapy, KAHER Institute of Physiotherapy, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission03-May-2019
Date of Decision11-Jul-2019
Date of Acceptance15-Jul-2019
Date of Web Publication23-Dec-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Renu Pattanshetty
Department of Oncology Physiotherapy, KAHER, Institute of Physiotherapy, Belgaum - 590 010, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijptr.ijptr_35_19

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How to cite this article:
Pattanshetty R. Patient-based bedside teaching for physical therapists: The need of the hour. Indian J Phys Ther Res 2019;1:131-2

How to cite this URL:
Pattanshetty R. Patient-based bedside teaching for physical therapists: The need of the hour. Indian J Phys Ther Res [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Jun 30];1:131-2. Available from: https://www.ijptr.org/text.asp?2019/1/2/131/273722

Clinical teaching is an integral part of the medical fraternity all over the world who are in teaching profession, whether in classrooms, in hospitals, or in primary healthcare. Bedside teaching is an essential component of medical education and an effective way to learn clinical skills and improvise communication skills with the patients. Bedside teaching is a powerful method for physical therapy education. Sir William Osler rightly commented as “to study the phenomena of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea while to study books without patients is not to go to sea at all.”[1] Bedside teaching is active teaching process conducted in the presence of a patient, with the formation of small group of students. Such teaching strategy improves students' history-taking and examination skills and knowledge of clinical ethics. This integrates theory, practical skills, as well as knowledge. It makes patient contact an education process to be more realistic and more complete. This allows the students to develop empathy with patients, which proves better than listening to a classroom teaching during a powerpoint presentation or a seminar presentation. Both Teacher and student have an opportunity to make the most use of their perception such as hearing, vision, smell, and touch, enabling them to learn more about the patient and their problems.[2]

However, having stated the importance of bedside teaching, the use of this type of teaching is in steady decline over few decades. This decline may be due to a variety of reasons including lack of time for clinicians, patient volume, fierce competition for research funding, increased use of simulation teaching, more demand over paperwork, over-reliance on technology, quick patient discharge, lack of experience, and confidence on the part of a teacher to name a few.[2],[3]

Benefits of bedside teaching are clear. However, there is clear lack of implementation in this regard; Salam et al. have documented few strategies to overcome this problem. The most important of all is to begin bedside teaching with no great expectations. Daily ward patients are the best way to learn and fortify the observational ability of the students.[4] Getting the students to involve with a specific reason would serve the purpose. The distribution of bedside teaching time with planned curriculum will potentiate learning experience, thereby elevating patient's comfort with a professional approach. This type of teaching needs adequate preparation, and it is not uncommon to see most of the clinicians to assume this task without adequate preparation or orientation.[5] A prior notice of visit to a patient, set time, limited and focused teaching, role modeling by learners, detailed explanation of assessment procedures to the patient may help to improve patients' comfort during bedside teaching. Raising the teachers' comfort level at the bedside through a preparatory phase is as vital raising comfort levels of patients as well as the students. Teachers should avoid topics that may be uncomfortable for them to teach, especially if they are new to the profession or first-timers. Hence, they should be familiar with the time table or the clinical curriculum and the clinical skill of the students. Finally, to make bedside teaching a more focused activity, each session of a bedside teaching must be preplanned with adequate medical reading resources in hand. It needs to be decided beforehand the specific facets of bedside teaching such as history-taking, assessment skills, and counseling of the patients needs to be emphasized. Group interaction is an important aspect to keep the students' group active during bedside teaching that may be achieved by goal setting and role-plays by students in a set time with utmost attention paid to the learning group.[4]

Although many teaching models have been developed, yet the implication and the success of each model is questionable in implementation and usage.[6],[7],[8] High-quality physiotherapy education is a principal aspect of good standard physiotherapy and rehabilitation care, which includes clinical examination and its documentation, diagnosis, interpretation of the investigations, and physiotherapy management of patient's problems. It is improper to discard a teaching tradition like bedside teaching, which teaches the humanistic values of medicine and rehabilitation either to time constraint or busy schedules. Use of clinical teaching in the education process by the physiotherapy teachers/instructors may be achieved by creating a congenial atmosphere by the clinical teacher for both learners/students/trainee and the patients. This simple strategy will help enhance the learner to imbibe and improvise observational skills, assessment and communication skills, and overall medical professionalism. All physiotherapy colleges should inculcate good practice of bedside teaching and increase the efforts to reshape the profession.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Stone MJ. The wisdom of Sir William Osler. Am J Cardiol 1995;75:269-76.  Back to cited text no. 1
Rahman R. Bedside teaching in clinical medicine. Editor J Bangladesh Coll Physicians Surg 2017;35:160-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
Carlos WG, Kritek PA, Clay AS, Luks AM, Thomson CC. Teaching at the bedside. Maximal impact in minimal time. Ann Am Thorac Soc 2016;13:545-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Salam A, Siraj HH, Mohamad N, Das S, Rabeya Y. Bedside teaching in undergraduate medical education: Issues, strategies, and new models for better preparation of new generation doctors. Iran J Med Sci 2011;36:1-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
Ramani S, Leinster S. AMEE guide no 34: Teaching in the clinical environment. Med Teach 2008;30:347-64.  Back to cited text no. 5
Janicik RW, Fletcher KE. Teaching at the bedside: A new model. Med Teach 2003;25:127-30.  Back to cited text no. 6
Doshi M, Brown N. Why and how of patient-based teaching. Adv Psychiatr Treat 2005;11:223-31.  Back to cited text no. 7
Neher JO, Gordon KC, Meyer B, Stevens N. A five-step “microskills” model of clinical teaching. J Am Board Fam Pract 1992;5:419-24.  Back to cited text no. 8


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