Telesupervision Benefits for Placements: Allied Health Students’ and Supervisors’ Perceptions

  • Srivalli Nagarajan The University of Sydney
  • Lindy McAllister The University of Sydney
  • LuAnne McFarlane The University of Alberta
  • Mark Hall The University of Alberta
  • Corilie Schmitz The University of Alberta
  • Robin Roots University of British Columbia
  • Donna Drynan University of British Columbia
  • Lisa Avery University of British Columbia
  • Sue Murphy University of British Columbia
  • Mary Lam The University of Sydney
Keywords: allied health, placements, telesupervision, telesupport

Abstract

Telesupervision (TS) uses Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for communication between university-based staff, clinical supervisors and students undertaking placements in the presence or absence of a clinical supervisor onsite. Despite examples of successful implementation (Carlin 2012, Chipchase et al. 2014, Dudding and Justice 2004, Hall 2013) there has been minimal uptake of TS in allied health. This study investigated students’ and clinical educators’ perceptions of the potential benefits and barriers of TS using readily accessible ICT during placements. During 2014-2015, telesupervision/telesupport was provided to a total of 54 Undergraduate and Graduate Entry Masters students from Speech Language Pathology (SLP), Occupational therapy (OT) and Physical therapy (PT) programs at one Australian and two Canadian universities and Exercise Physiology (EP) students at the Australian university. After receipt of TS, 39 students completed an online survey. Nine participating university-based clinical education coordinators (CECs) were interviewed about their experiences. Survey data were analysed using descriptive statistics and interview data were analysed using thematic analysis. Students valued regular TS contact/communication with their CEC to discuss challenges that arose during their placements. CECs believed students benefitted from the opportunities to discuss their placement experiences through TS sessions used for direct supervision and/or for complementing onsite supervision. Students used TS sessions to debrief and reflect on their placement experiences. CECs gained a better understanding of the students’ placement experiences. TS has the potential to develop greater connection between students and CECs and enhance student and supervisor experience of clinical education.

References

Australian Government (2011) The eHealth Readiness of Australia’s Allied Health Sector. [online] available from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/ehealth-readiness-allied-toc [01 February 2016]

Braun, V., and Clarke, V. (2006) ‘Using thematic analysis in psychology’. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3 (2), 77-101. doi:10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

Carlin, C. H. (2012) ‘E-supervision of graduate students in speech-language pathology: preliminary research findings’. Perspectives on Telepractice (SIG 18), 2, 26-30. doi:10.1044/tele2.1.26

Chipchase, L., Hill, A., Dunwoodie, R., Allen, S., Kane, Y., Piper, K., and Russell, T. (2014) ‘Evaluating telesupervision as a support for clinical learning: An action research project’. International Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care 2 (2), 40-53. doi: 10.11120/pblh.2014.00033

Dudding, C. (2012) ‘Focusing in on tele-supervision’. America Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Information to Academic Programs and Faculty. [online] available from http://www.asha.org/Academic/questions/Focusing-in-on-Tele-Supervision/ [26 January 2015]

Dudding, C. C., and Justice, L. M. (2004) ‘An e-supervision model: Videoconferencing as a clinical training tool’. Communication Disorders Quarterly 25 (3), 145-151.

doi: 10.1177/15257401040250030501

Hall, C. A. (2013) ‘What’s all the hype about Skype? The effectiveness of video calling in clinical education’. Journal of Physical Therapy Education 27 (1), 77-93

Jones, L. E., McKenzie, M., and Wong, M-S. (2010) ‘The use of videoconference technology: creating innovative and interactive fieldwork education experiences’. in Innovations in Allied Health Fieldwork Education: A Critical Appraisal. ed. by McAllister, L. Paterson, M. Higgs, J. and Bithell, C. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 167-178.

Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

Lee, M. Y., Albright, S. A., O’Leary, L., Terkla, D. G. and Wilson, N. (2008) ‘Expanding the reach of health sciences education and empowering others: The OpenCourseWare initiative at Tufts University’. Medical Teacher 30 (2), 159-163.

doi: 10.1080/01421590701881665

Nagarajan, S., McAllister, L., McFarlane, L., Hall, M., Schmitz, C., Avery, L., Drynan, D., Roots, R., Murphy, S. and Lam, M. (2015). ‘Australian and Canadian student and supervisor experiences of telesupervision in allied health clinical education’. 38th HERDSA Annual International Conference, Australia: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Inc. [online] available from http://herdsa.org.au/publications/conference-proceedings/research-and-development-higher-education-learning-life-and-41

Reese, R. J., Aldarondo, F., Anderson, C. R., Lee, S-J., Miller, T. W., and Burton, D. (2009) ‘Telehealth in clinical supervision: A comparison of supervision formats’. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 15, 356–361. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2009.090401

Theodoros, D. G., Constantinescu, G., Russell, T. G., Ward, E. C., Wilson, S. J., and Wootton, R. (2006) ‘Treating the speech disorder in Parkinson’s disease online’. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 12 (Supplement 3), 88–91.

doi: 10.1258/135763306779380101

Vyas, R., Albright, S., Walker, D., Zachariah, A. and Lee, M. Y. (2010) ‘Clinical training in remote sites using mobile technology: an India-USA partnership’. Distance Education and Mobile Learning, 31 (2), 211-226. doi: 10.1080/01587919.2010.498856

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978) Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Published
2016-07-15
How to Cite
Nagarajan, S., McAllister, L., McFarlane, L., Hall, M., Schmitz, C., Roots, R., Drynan, D., Avery, L., Murphy, S., & Lam, M. (2016). Telesupervision Benefits for Placements: Allied Health Students’ and Supervisors’ Perceptions. International Journal of Practice-Based Learning in Health and Social Care, 4(1), 16-27. https://doi.org/10.18552/ijpblhsc.v4i1.326

Most read articles by the same author(s)