Does an Online Clinical Educator Preparation and Support Program Change Practice?
Keywords:clinical educators, clinical placements, placement supervisors, preparation and support programs, student placements
Preparation of clinicians to act as student placement supervisors is important to ensure quality student placements for the development of the skills needed for competent performance in the workplace. Clinical educator preparation programs are offered in many formats, but these programs are rarely evaluated for impact on practice. In this article, we describe the results of the evaluation of an online clinical educator preparation and support (CEPS) program. Thirty allied health professionals, across a range of professions, responded to a survey regarding their experience of the program, usage patterns and their application of learning to practice. As a result of participation in the program, there was a significant increase in confidence levels in a number of topic areas covered in the program, and a quarter of respondents had changed their student supervision practices as a result of participation. Due to a low response rate at the three month follow-up survey, planned interviews to explore the impact of change in practice on the student placement experience could not be completed. While the study was not able to measure the impact of the CEPS program on placement quality, it did show that the CEPS program is able to significantly increase supervisor confidence in a number of areas, and is able to effect change in practice.
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