The material in this Part provides suggestions, resources and case examples to assist the clinical educator with the successful and timely management of concerns regarding student performance, behaviour or ability to successfully complete the placement.

Students in clinical education are undoubtedly an investment of your time and energy and, the challenging student, even more. It is important to know where you can access support and what strategies you can use to work with the student who is experiencing difficulty.

Example scenarios

Perhaps the student:

  • Demonstrates inconsistent levels of clinical performance and competence
  • Is at risk of failing one or more core learning objectives
  • Demonstrates diffi culty translating theory into practice
  • Demonstrates inappropriate behaviour and presentation
  • Displays limited interaction and communication skills with client
  • Displays lack of interest, motivation and initiative
  • Displays inadequate preparation, organisational and prioritisation skills
  • Responds inadequately to feedback – failing to effectively utilise feedback to improve performance.

(Maloney, Carmody & Nemeth, 1997, as cited in Clinical Placement Advisory Committee [CPAC], 1997).

Students may experience difficulty during their clinical placement for a number of reasons, including:

  • Personal stressors (social, mental and physical health, relationship issues, domestic and fi nancial stressors)
  • Stress relating to other work commitments and university deadlines
  • Unclear expectations
  • Lack of confi dence
  • Lack of receipt of feedback regarding performance
  • Limited clinical experience
  • Negative experience in previous clinical placement

(McAllister, Lincoln, McLeod & Maloney, as cited in Dunwoodie, Fitzgerald, Hill & Patane, 2006, June)

Whatever the circumstances, if the student’s performance, behaviour or health status is affecting their ability to meet the placement learning objectives and competencies required of them, then it is important to address the concerns as soon as they become obvious.