This activity introduces the various stages of the supervisory process. It includes a useful example of a field placement planner and finishes with a discussion.
Supervisory Functions (Villeneuve, 1994, p. 31-32)
|Stages of supervised placement (Anthony & Gaiptman, 1993, p. 1-4)||Administrative Function||Teaching Function||Support Function|
Plan field placement/ clinical experience
Obtain placement documents (objectives, evaluation form) if not already done
Advise team of student’s arrival; explain placement objectives and work assignments
Take student on tour of his/her work areas
Explain facility’s mission and relevant policies and procedures
Describe general and patient-specific safety measures
Spell out supervisor’s expectations and explain placement and supervisory procedures, as well as stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities
Work with student on specific objectives or development of learning contract
Respect student’s way of being and doing things
Acknowledge student’s preferred learning style(s)
Apply appropriate principles of various learning theories to present situation
Promote learning by using tools suited to different learning styles (journal, audiovisuals, role playing)
Recognize affective and cognitive dimensions of learning
Facilitate learning of needed knowledge, skills, attitudes
Recognize strengths and areas needing improvement
Provide student with continuing feedback
Discuss formal evaluations with student
Make learning tools available to student (e.g. articles)
Build climate of trust and sharing conducive to learning progress
Practise effective, bona fide communication (listening, feedback, transparency, consistency)
Be open and understanding toward student (e.g. listen to student’s point of view, ask his/her opinion
Relieve stress caused by new learning situations
Project calm and assurance needed to learn
Encourage autonomy of student
Be tolerant of mistakes, without allowing patient’s safety to be jeopardized
Reinforce sense of affiliation with profession and field/clinical site
|Administrative Function||Teaching Function||Support Function|
Organize and coordinate field placement/clinical experience
Stay in contact with educational institution
Make sure student is integrated into work team on basis of placement objectives (not as supplemental worker)
Provide sufficient information on day to day work organization
Take responsibility for placement supervision
Plan placement activities
Review objectives with student, and revise as needed
Choose student’s cases based on learning progress and nature of placement
Organize work schedule and assign tasks
Evaluate placement activities
Plan supervisory conferences (e.g. discussion)
Check quality and amount of work done
Consult evaluation tools (observation worksheets)
Promote reflection and linkage between theory and practice
Encourage reflective practice (review of work accomplished, self-evaluation)
Review completed interventions with reference to professional standards
Measure progress toward objectives on regular basis; discuss with student
Help student to create therapeutic relationship with his/her clients or patients and to end those relationships in a timely fashion
Build professional and ethical working relationship with student
Consider how relationship of authority affects relationship of trust
Recognize power plays
Tactfully establish friendly relations with student (authority vs. trust)
Objectify own reactions and those of student and patient
Realize own attitudes and perceptions; recognize those of student
Perform self-assessment and adapt to student’s needs as required
Encourage student to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes relating to practice of target profession
Wind up placement
Conduct end-term evaluation
Formalize placement outcome: pass or fail
Make sure student has appraised his/her experience at field/clinical site
Reassign student’s work load if necessary
Adapted from Dupont (1997) and Anthony & Gaiptman (1993)
One month before placement
- Inform the team of the student’s arrival (during a meeting or via memo, email or voice mail).
- Give the student’s name, placement duration, attendance schedule and senior supervisor.
- Request the team’s collaboration. Identify the persons available to spend time with the student during the first few days of the placement.
- Name a contact person to stand in when the supervisor is absent.
- In case of co-supervision, clarify the tasks, availability, expectations and respective modi operandi of the two supervisors.
- Plan specific placement activities and add them to the schedule.
- Update the student orientation package.
Two weeks before placement
- Send a welcome letter including the following:
- Place to which the student will report on the first day
- Dress code
- Materials to bring
- Field/clinical site map and public transit information
- Send orientation package ahead of time (along with welcome letter) or give it to the student upon arrival.
- Notify the secretary’s office, reception desk and clerks of the student’s arrival.
- Free up your calendar as much as possible during the first two weeks of the placement.
- Read all placement-related documentation.
- Learn about the student’s grasp of theory.
- If the field/clinical site allows, choose the clients who will be assigned to the student. Obtain those clients’ consent. Choose the cases in light of the placement objectives and the student’s training level.
- Arrange the premises to provide a student work area. That area would best be located away from the supervisor’s area so that the student can develop autonomy and think for himself or herself.
- Make sure the student receives a key.
- Plan the placement: schedule one-on-one supervisory conferences (or group conferences if appropriate), as well as the dates and times for compulsory activities, e.g. preparing individual (or group) learning contract, case presentations, and mid-term and end-term evaluations.
- Schedule activities for the first few days (reading files, observing interventions, meeting first clients, etc.).
NB. The schedule should include free time for working on the learning contract, record keeping, journaling, and so on.
First week of placement
- Have lunch or a refreshment break with the student the first day.
- Provide orientation at the field/clinical site (including a tour of the clinical units, cafeteria, documentation centre, etc.).
- Prepare the student’s ID card (if applicable).
- Supply a lab coat or uniform (if needed).
Let’s discuss: Reflections on stages of placement
How do the ideas in these articles fit with your own supervisory experience? If there were ideas that resonate with you, please share them with us.
Supervision takes place in a context of a relationship. How do you anticipate your own experience as a supervisee will influence your supervisiory process?