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London South Bank University

HSC Practice Learning

HSC Mentoring
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Practice Education

The courses ensure that students complete the requisite number of hours in both theory and practice (not less than 1,000 hours in assessed clinical practice). Practice learning opportunities will be in placements in local NHS organisations and community, private and voluntary sector agencies. A variety of theory and practical assessments assess and grade learning throughout the programme. Students must achieve the requisite academic credit and specified practice hours and competencies in order to be eligible for the appropriate academic award and professional registration as a Physiotherapist.

The courses are designed to build theory and knowledge across a complexity and range of contemporary physiotherapeutic environments. The observational/care placement at the end of year 1 is aimed at supporting orientation and familiarisation of the student to the clinical environment. Integration of knowledge and practice underpins all of the core modules, with specific specialist knowledge and skills being developed through the end of year 2 through to year 3. The integration and application of academic knowledge in the practice setting is developed further in the Integrated Masters year 4 to allow student choice regarding specialist, specialist generalist or elective options to extend their clinical experience.

Role and Responsibilities

During practice learning opportunities, the Practice Educator provides day-to-day support for the student and acts as a role model for him/her. If the Practice Educator is not available to work with, or supervise the student, it is the responsibility of the Practice Educator or the Practice Placement Co-ordinator to assign another appropriately qualified member of staff to work with and supervise the student as well as ensure continuity of practice learning and assessment.

The Practice Educator’s contribution to student learning and the level of supervision offered takes account of the students’ experience, their stage in the pre-registration course and their level of competence and the student’s previous learning and assessment of outcomes.

LSBU requires students provided with a minimum of 1 hour supervision per week. This time should be used for supporting the student’s learning and reviewing and revising objectives and plans for the remainder of the practice experience. The weekly records should indicate areas both for recognition of achievement and areas that need specific development. The Record of Supervision Discussion sheet (in the Practice Educator’s report form) should be completed as a record of supervision meetings.

Practice Educators are responsible for the assessment of student learning in practice. They work in partnership with other staff in the Trust/organisation and the University.

The role of the Practice Educator in regard to student support and learning is:

  • To ensure that the student is fit for practice
  • To facilitate student learning
  • To supervise, support and guide students
  • To act as a credible role model in the delivery of care
  • To safeguard the welfare of the student by ensuring that participation in care is to the student’s individual level of competence
  • To provide support for the student in achieving broad and specific practice learning outcomes
  • To provide guidance to the student in formulating learning contracts
  • To plan learning with the student, specific to individual needs
  • To assist the student to develop skills, understanding and abilities through reflection on practice
  • To formally assess the student’s achievement of learning outcomes and provide constructive feedback
  • To provide support and assist the student in enlisting other support mechanisms as required

The Practice Educator should normally communicate (Email and/or Telephone would be expected appropriate forms of communication) with the student within a minimum 48 hours of the student commencing their practice placement to discuss the student’s learning needs in relation to the learning outcomes of the course and personal learning needs. They should collaboratively plan the learning programme for that practice learning opportunity.

The practice educator should also ensure that the student is aware of all safety aspects of the placement. A learning contract should be completed at this point.

The Practice Educator and student should agree and set dates and times when they will meet to reflect on practice and review the student’s progress. These should be at the mid-point and prior to the end of the practice placement, or more frequently if necessary.

It is important that students thoughtfully prepare for weekly supervision. This weekly preparation aims to facilitate the student’s development of their professional skills, such as personal development and reasoning. Students should include examples/evidence of achieving objectives from the previous week and areas for further development.

Students’ overall responsibilities:

  • Inform the Practice Placement Facilitator and Practice Placement Educator of any health-related matters which might affect their work with service users, carers or colleagues.
  • Prepare for the placement by ensuring that uniform requirements can be met and by undertaking any pre-placement reading or other preparation required by the practice educator.
  • Negotiate with the practice educator to determine a learning contract or objectives for the Practice Placement.
  • Operate in accordance with the Statutory and Profession’s Codes of Conduct and the HSC Student Professional Conduct Directional Statement.
  • Adhere to the rules, policies and procedures of the Practice Placement setting whilst on placement.
  • Participate actively in the evaluation of their performance and behaviour during Practice Placement.
  • Notify University staff without delay of any untoward incident or circumstance which may affect their progress during the Practice Placement experience or their satisfactory completion of the placement.
  • Ensure that a log book of hours completed during Practice Placement is kept, that entries are signed by Practice Educators, and that the Practice Educator receives a placement feedback form.

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Practice learning