A new cost-neutral clinical student educator role in dietetics: impacts on student learning, staff supervision capacity and service productivity

Ms Tegan Dalla1, Mrs Joanne Wasley1

1CCLHD, Wyong , Australia

Various models of student supervision, including student educator roles, have been trialed within Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) Nutrition Services. Most recently this was a student educator role one day per week. In this model there was a risk to students as they were without a consistent co-ordination and support contact person across the week. Approval was obtained to trial a cost neutral full time student educator model to co-ordinate placements, develop individual education plans, deliver student tutorials, assess competency and support the student’s learning. It is anticipated the change will not impact the service’s ability to meet clinical capacity needs and enable a more positive student learning experience.

The aim of this study is to evaluate the implementation of a full time clinical student educator role on the learning experience for students, dietitians, educators and managers.

Method & Results
A full time Clinical Student Educator role was developed to enable facilitation and supervision for 3 blocks of students from the University of Newcastle. A 10-week program was designed to create a positive, meaningful learning experience for students. Feedback from other allied health professionals in similar educator roles was obtained to assist in the program evaluation. Results compare pre and post qualitative and quantitative data measuring the impact of the role on dietitian supervision capacity and perceptions of the role, student learning experience and overall service productivity. Results will inform recommendations for future student supervision models including educator roles within CCLHD Nutrition Services.


Tegan Dalla is a dietitian with over a decade of experience working in public hospitals. She completed a Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics at the University of Wollongong in 2009 and a Masters of Health Care Leadership with Southern Cross University in 2019. Tegan is passionate about the development of the workforce and her peers through education and training.  She was previously in the role of Student Educator at the Central Coast Local Health District, and her current position is Team Leader of Nutrition & Dietetics at the John Hunter Hospital

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