Setting up the student placement experience. The role of a single online orientation program to set the learning culture

Ms Andrea Verde1, Mr Rob LoPresti1, Ms Kathy Maggs1, Mr Chadwick Dale1, Mr Drew Smith1

1Clinical Education Unit, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Australia

How students are welcomed and informed about their student placement is an important signal as to how valued students are. Orientation is an opportunity to provide information to learners, including, expectations of professional behaviour, participation in learning and exposure to work systems. There is a significant amount of information that is common across disciplines and relevant to all students, however historically has been administered in silo’s. This process is time and resource intensive in both the development and maintenance of information currency, increasing the likelihood that critical information is omitted or provided incorrectly. By providing a centralised student placement orientation for allied health, medical and nursing students via an online format, content can be standardised, increasing efficiencies, allowing for increased clinical learning while still meeting student needs.

A standardised online orientation program was developed that included: a welcome and orientation to the organisation –history, values and maps of the organisation; mandatory training modules; and access to paperwork such as confidentiality agreements. This core content was targeted to all 14 clinical disciplines who offer student placements. In addition, disciplines could provide additional discipline-specific information and resources for inclusion in the online platform.
Students were provided access to this orientation prior to their placement via an email link. At the end of the placement/rotation, feedback about the student experience, including orientation was sought.

A centralised model of orientation has been a feasible and acceptable method of delivering orientation. Key information is shared, efficiencies created and transparencies of student expectations provided to all.


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