Continuing professional development: designing an interprofessional program for allied health placement educators

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Curriculum Transformation Vol. 40

June, 2017, 455 pages
Published by
Ruth Walker & Simon Bedford
ISBN
978-0-9945546-6-6
Abstract 

Students enrolled in accredited allied health degrees complete placements as part of their curriculum. Primarily, placements offer students the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in a practice context, and develop the skills required of work-ready graduates. During placements, students are supervised by a trained practitioner functioning as a clinical educator. Many educators report not feeling prepared for managing the complexity of their dual roles as practitioners and educators, and desire additional support and development opportunities. Professional development plays a key role in assisting these educators to design and deliver placement curriculum to produce sought-after graduates across diverse contexts. To transform the program offered to our educators, we adopted four main strategies: 1) utilise the relevant literature, 2) create opportunities for educator-led content, 3) ensure our program uses proven pedagogies for professional development, and 4) include processes for evaluation and review. Informed by the literature and educator feedback, we offer a program that includes formal workshops, informal discussions (as part of site visits), and online activities (e.g., a wikispace). It is available to educators across allied health as a mix of interprofessional and discipline-specific activities. This paper presents a review of elements of our program and provides insight into how those seeking to support educators can adapt ideas from the literature on professional learning and clinical education to offer educators a tailored, flexible and interprofessional development program.

Keywords: professional development, clinical educators, placements

Continuing professional development: designing an interprofessional program for allied health placement educators

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Thomson, K., Brentnall, J., Nicole, M., Kenny, B. & McAllister, L.