Clinical Placements are an important part of healthcare education, giving students an opportunity to apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes they are taught in the classroom in clinical settings. At Barwon Health, our teaching health service enjoys active participation and cooperation from four key parties:
Consumers are at the heart of student teaching and learning in our health service. Observation and participation in the delivery of high quality care is a defining aspect of high quality clinical education for learners. However, we recognise that consumers are a resource that we must work with in the most respectful and minimally inconvenient way, ensuring that care is never compromised by the need to provide learners with the most useful learning experiences.
We encourage consumers to support students as observers and participants in their care. The opportunity for students to experience real care and learn from the diverse mix of consumers who interact with Barwon Health is invaluable, providing a critical opportunity for students to translate theory into practice. Consumers may sometimes feel inconvenienced by the presence of students, however their interests – and those of the community at large – are ultimately served by learners being educated about high quality care in a high quality clinical learning environment.
Consumers are encouraged to provide feedback about their experiences and we welcome suggestions for improving our teaching activities.
Health Service – Barwon Health
Whilst teaching occurs across our health service, our Education and Training Unit has the lead role in promoting teaching and learning at Barwon Health, including the achievement of a Best Practice Clinical Learning Environment. The Unit has a number of roles that support Barwon Health to develop as a teaching health service and achieve its Strategic Plan.
Many Barwon Health staff have teaching appointments with our education partners, and a number of our senior staff who have made significant academic and/or clinical contributions in their field of practice also have professorial appointments through our teaching and research partners. Our Education and Training Unit has an enthusiastic team of educators and trainers who support internal training delivery, teach clinical skills, supervise students in formal programs and support the development of staff and students. Capacity building for teaching and student supervision is a priority of the Education and Training Unit and our staff create exceptional learning experiences for students placed with Barwon Health.
Barwon Health provides facilities and equipment specifically for teaching activities, and plans new spaces and infrastructure with the needs of students and our role as a teaching health service in mind.
Barwon Health works closely with a number of education providers who share an interest in the development of the Barwon South West region and its workforce, and an interest in health workforce, to develop and deliver healthcare programs and qualifications. Our most significant affiliation is with Deakin University, which is the education provider for approximately 75% of the students placed at Barwon Health. Barwon Health engages with education providers, rather than individual students, to determine how learning objectives required for course completion can be met on placement, to define the required behaviours and extent of clinical privileges for students on placement, and to review curriculum to ensure currency of learning leading to optimally work-ready graduates. Barwon Health has a vested interest in working with reputable education providers who attract the highest calibre students, to ensure the best-performing students, committed to a career in regional healthcare and demonstrating our values, join our workforce.
Students represent renewal of the workforce and create diversity; they bring with them new energy, questions that sometimes challenge our practice, and contemporary theoretical learning for application in a supervised learning setting. At Barwon Health, students are encouraged not to be passive recipients of education and training; they have an important role to play in ensuring their clinical education experiences are of value to themselves and to Barwon Health. To this end, students have a responsibility to:
understand their role as a learner (including their responsibility for being proactive and for self-directed learning) and be prepared to participate in the two-way flow of information;
- prepare themselves adequately at the commencement of each new rotation and throughout the placement;
- demonstrate professional behaviour towards clinical and non-clinical colleagues, patients/clients and other students;
- be motivated to learn and prepared to adapt their learning styles and respond to a dynamic learning environment.
Barwon Health seeks to ensure that students are well oriented to their environment and their placement team, are appropriately assessed and receive individual training. There are established systems for communication and feedback with students and our aim is to provide high-quality and consistent supervision by experienced clinical educators and supervisors.
Barwon Health has relationship agreements with numerous universities and most student enquiries should be directed to us through the university.
For student placement enquiries please email: PlacementEnquiries@BarwonHealth.org.au