Benefits of Providing a Student Clinical Placement
Providing an effective and rewarding clinical education experience for the student, you and your work facility, relies on good planning, time management, organisation and clear communication. Additionally, creating an optimal learning environment relies heavily on your willingness to share your time, knowledge, skill and space with a student in a collaborative, mutually respectful, open, flexible and supportive manner (Gaiptman & Anthony,1989, as cited in Potts, Babcock & McKee, 1998).
As a clinical educator, your level of motivation and confidence in having a student, as well as the creation of a physical and human work environment that is positive, enthusiastic and willing to support you in taking on a student, is paramount to the success of a positive student learning environment.
So, let's explore what are the benefits to providing a student clinical placement?
How Occupational Therapy Students can Benefit You and Your Work Facility
Students can benefit you by:
- contributing to the development of your personal clinical education, supervision and leadership skills
- prompting you to "reflect and reason through own practice". N. Flynn, OT clinical educator, Mater Private Hospital (personal communication, June, 6, 2007)
- keeping you up to date with theories and evidence
- assisting with workload management, once student is competent.
- gaining you valuable Acc OT accreditation points
- working on evidence based practice activities
- supporting the future of the occupational therapy profession
- contributing to the maintenance of good standards of clinical practice
- providing opportunity for you to model sound professional and ethical behaviour
- giving you the satisfaction of seeing the student learn and improve
- providing a professional challenge - "brings you back to the OT basics" (OT clinical educator, personal communication, May, 25, 2007).
- "Friendship development". Nick Flynn, OT clinical educator, Mater Private Hospital (personal communication, June,6, 2007).
- The University of Queensland, Faculty of Health Sciences has a Clinical Educator Support and Recognition Program to recognize the invaluable contribution to student education and competency development that clinicians provide by way of providing student clinical placements at their facility.
"Students urge me to question the assumptions and theory behind what I "just do" intuitively. In their vulnerability, students keep me honest, they keep my feet on the ground".
(K. Adam, OT clinical educator, work rehabilitation practice [personal communication, May, 10, 2007])
Students can benefit your facility by:
- enabling assessment of students for future recruitment potential.
- increasing departmental productivity and client service provision.
- developing and updating resources (e.g. client manuals, brochures, education programs and occupational therapy resource materials).
- assisting with quality assurance activities
- developing staff supervision and training skills.
- developing staff clinical reasoning skills.
- developing staff organisation & time management skills.
- promoting exposure of the service to the community.
- supporting the maintenance of supervising clinician skills.
- promoting diversity in workplace. "Students provide another perspective or dynamic to the team in terms of personality". (N. Flynn, OT clinical educator, Mater Private Hospital [personal communication, June, 6, 2007]).
On the same worksheet, you may also like to note any anticipated constraints to providing a student placement at your facility and then document some possible solutions or strategies to overcoming these constraints.
Refer to :
Fact Sheet 1.2: Benefits unique to student clinical education in private practice.
Suggestion Sheet 1.1: Overcoming perceived constraints to clinical education in private practice.
Suggestion Sheet 1.2: Ways to increase direct or indirect cost-benefit of student to a private practice.
Fact Sheet 1.3: Third party payers and fee-for-service payers' perspectives on the presence of students in private practice settings.
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