Day 1 of a Clinical Placement

Allocate time to meet individually with each student early in the rotation to discuss their learning objectives, outline expectations of the unit and discuss feedback and assessment processes and expectations.

At this meeting it is important to ensure the student has read and fully understands the APP and how it will be used during the clinical unit. The Performance Indicators listed for each item on the APP provide specific behaviours expected from the student if they are performing competently in that item. As the APP uses generic terms, aligned with the Australian Physiotherapy Standards, this is an opportunity to contextualise these items to your work place. For example, what does ‘culturally sensitive’ mean in your specific workplace? What does ‘gaining consent’ mean in your setting? How could a student demonstrate adequate ‘discharge planning’ in your organisation? How could they demonstrate excellence in these things in your setting?

At this meeting it is also important to get the student to outline any specific learning objectives they have for the placement with you. For example, feedback from their previous placement may have indicated that the student’s knowledge or skills in a particular area require improvement. Where possible, incorporate learning opportunities for the student to address the issues identified in the previous unit’s feedback.

NotesHere is the link to an example of a learning contract you may like to use if the University has not supplied one. Each University will have provided the student with a template for a Learning Plan or Contract. In the spirit of self-directed, adult learning the student should arrive with these on the first day and be prepared to discuss these with you.

An example of a learning contract (OT, JCU): (See pages 22-24)