Orientation of students to the workplace
We ask that as their Clinical Preceptor, you will assist with orientation of your students to the workplace on the first day of placement. Where possible, this should include:
- Showing students the layout of the facility.
- Explaining key people and their roles.
- Outlining professional standards – dress code, identification, how to address patients and staff.
- Explaining communication systems.
- Explain rules around social media use and personal mobile phones.
- Explain the system for record keeping and reiterate the rules around patient/staff confidentiality.
- Reiterate Work Health and Safety procedures, particularly manual handling and hand hygiene.
As their Clinical Preceptor, we ask you to ensure that students are wearing the correct Charles Sturt, uniform during placement for WPL. If a student does not present with the correct uniform, please ask the student to correct their appearance and contact the University should you have any ongoing concerns. If a student is unable to comply with the uniform policy or correct their appearance promptly, please inform the relevant Charles Sturt Clinical Subject Coordinator immediately.
There are some WPL experiences where students are not required to wear their uniform and may wear their own clothes.
Assessing the standard of practice of students
The questions below provide a general guide to assessing the practice of students whilst on placement.
- How comfortable are they with the placement/practice experience?
- Are there any issues with interactions with other staff or patients?
- What activities have they been involved in and how useful were they in facilitating their learning, confidence etc. Consider the level at which students are practicing.
- How have they performed and discuss their perceptions of their competence.
- Is the student demonstrating that they are meeting the Ahpra Paramedic Professional Capabilities through their engagement during the placement and documented reflections?
- Is the student progressing satisfactorily? (Consider the need for liaising with the Clinical Subject Coordinator to initiate a learning contract).
- Discuss with your students, feedback you have received from other staff. Invite other staff to join in these discussions if applicable.
- Note any performance concerns, and provide the student with constructive feedback on managing the environment and improving their knowledge/practice;
- Inform the Clinical Subject Coordinator via email and/or phone of any concerns about a student that may impact on performance as soon as possible. This will provide the student with an opportunity to rectify the deficit and for a learning contract to be initiated.
Method for implementing a learning contract
A learning contract is a contract designed to facilitate targeted areas of learning for students where a significant and continuing deficit related to nursing practice has been identified. Along with the Clinical Subject Coordinator and or BP WPL Lead, you as a clinical preceptor may request that a learning contract be initiated. If you identify an issue with a student in relation to their knowledge, skills or attitude, it is important to communicate with the clinical subject coordinator as soon as possible.
A learning contract provides information regarding the specific objectives the student must achieve in order to successfully complete the subject. If a student is unable to achieve the learning objectives, they will receive an Unsatisfactory (US) grade for their WPL component and consequently a Fail for the clinical subject.
Unsatisfactory professional conduct
While it is important that you support students to achieve their potential, it is also important that standards of practice are maintained. As stated, early communication with the clinical subject coordinator is vital, particularly for those students who may be identified as “at risk”? There are however particular situations which are very serious. Such situations usually relate to placing patients and other staff members at risk. The following situations are circumstances where a student may receive an Unsatisfactory Grade for WPL (and subsequently fail the subject). In all circumstances, you must notify the clinical subject coordinator and WPL lead immediately if a student:
- works outside of their scope of practice.
- places a patient in physical or psychological danger as a result of not following policy/guidelines to ensure safety.
- demonstrates unprofessional conduct e.g. evidence of alcohol consumption, ineffective personal hygiene despite warnings. This also includes conduct deemed unprofessional by the clinical facilitator, preceptor, educator or other supervising health professional.
- breaches confidentiality.
- inappropriately uses social media/mobile devices.
Students administering medicines
All BP students, regardless of their status or course progression MUST administer medicines under the DIRECT SUPERVISION of a registered health professional. For example, a Clinical Facilitator, Clinical Preceptor or Registered Paramedic.
Drug administration procedures must comply with the following:
- State laws e.g. Poisons Act, where students are undertaking their WPL experience.
- All relevant policies and procedures of facilities where WPL is taking place.
- Administration of S8 and S4D drugs must be directly supervised by a Registered health professional. BP students are not allowed to sign the legal documentation required. There must be two other accredited persons to undertake the procedure. This is a legal requirement.