Advanced Clinician: The therapist utilizes extensive or intensive experience to respond appropriately across a broad range of circumstances. The advanced clinician is beginning to anticipate and to respond intuitively to a given situation. At this stage of professional development, the therapist primarily takes an analytical approach in clinical decision making. Advanced Clinicians are viewed as strong mentors and effective collaborators. The specific skills, knowledge and abilities are identified in the Practice Model Continuum (pdf).
Clinician: The therapist has a broad range of experience in caring for patients. Clinicians consistently demonstrate effective relationships with patients, families and colleagues. All therapists are expected to practice at the clinician level. For new graduate hires, attaining the clinician level is expected at six to twelve months. The specific skills, knowledge and abilities are identified in the Practice Model Continuum (pdf).
Entry Clinician: The Entry Clinician will be filled by all new graduate occupational and physical therapists with less than one (1) year of professional experience. No application is necessary for this level. After successful completion of probation, therapists at the Entry Clinician level are expected to apply to the Clinician level within one (1) year of hire.
Expert Clinician: At this level practice, the therapist intuitively understands the situation and the action to take. Expert clinicians have a broad knowledge base and likely have in depth knowledge of a specific area or areas of clinical practice. The manner and degree of engagement and involvement with clients, families, caregivers, and care team members is finely tuned. They skillfully work with and through others. Therapists at this level anticipate current and future needs of those being served and take action accordingly. Expert clinicians are seen as leaders at an organizational, local, regional and/or national level. Expert clinicians are highly skilled at directing the advancement of specific aspects of clinical practice.
Level of Practice: These are represented by the four distinct stages of professional development (Entry, Clinician, Advanced, Expert) that are defined in the Practice Model Continuum (pdf) with a focus on how the therapist views the patient, employs clinical decision making, and is involved with patients, families, colleagues, organization, community and their respective profession.
Practice Model Continuum (PMC): The PMC provides a structured framework and defines elements of practice across all four practice levels and contains five major themes. Read a detailed explanation of the Practice Model Continuum (pdf).
Review Board: Makes decisions on promotion of therapists that apply for the Advanced Clinician and Expert Clinician levels. The Review Board consists of managers and staff from Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy who review all application materials and assessment tools submitted by therapists seeking to be recognized at the Advanced Clinician and Expert Clinician level. The full Review Board, by consensus, will decide to promote (or not) the applicant to the next level.
Self Reflection: Although not a formal assessment tool, self reflection is an essential way for therapists to grow and advance professionally. For this reason, self reflection is a fundamental element in the PAR model. Self-reflection should be incorporated whenever possible when using the above assessment tools. Research strongly suggests that learning is facilitated by a combination of experience and thinking and reflecting about one’s experience.
Specialty Tracks: All criteria in the Practice Model Continuum (pdf) not identified as patient care criteria fall in the following practice areas: administration, education, outreach, and research. However, these areas are not specifically identified within the PMC since the non-patient care criteria in the PMC may be organized into specialty areas depending on how the therapist applies the criteria to his/her practice.
Sub Theme: Specific descriptors within the “Themes” of the Practice Model Continuum (pdf). For example, the theme “Interpersonal Abilities” includes the sub themes of patient education, advocacy, cultural competency, rapport, interdisciplinary teamwork, utilization of feedback and utilization of support personnel.
Theme: A cluster of knowledge, skills, abilities, and talents representative of clinical practice in Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. The five Themes of the Practice Model Continuum (pdf) are Performance Skills, Professional Behaviors, Interpersonal Abilities, Clinical Decision Making and Administration/Education/Research/Outreach.