Clinical supervision doesn’t just benefit trainees

While it is generally accepted that supervising clinical learners is an important and necessary part of the work lives of most health practitioners, many do not relish this component of their role.

Some lack confidence in their teaching skills. Some don’t feel they have the time necessary to provide an optimum learning environment, whilst balancing the needs of their patients. And others feel unsure about how to deal with challenging trainees.

Melbourne Medical School’s Professor Stephen Trumble wants to change this perception, and so he is developing a new, online course in Clinical Supervision.

“Sometimes these courses are a bit of a ‘tick the box’ exercise. What we’re trying to do here is present some really useful skills that people can use to make their jobs more enjoyable.”

Drawing upon Melbourne Medical School’s popular award courses in clinical education, the course is suitable for any medical professional who supervises learners, from doctors to allied health workers, and even vets.

As well as covering the principles of effective clinical supervision, the course provides practical resources and techniques to support supervisors. It outlines how to balance the needs of the trainee with those of the patient, and how to provide feedback to trainees in a way that improves performance.

“The ultimate positive evaluation of a course like this is if someone says, ‘I now look forward to working with challenging trainees, because I can actually test my skills, and do something about it’”, says Professor Trumble.

According to him, the aim of the course is to help supervisors lift trainees to a level where they can take on more work, freeing up more time for the supervisor.

“Because this course has been developed by practising clinicians, we understand the challenges, and we’re putting forward solutions to make life easier for everyone” he says.

“What we’re proposing is skills and techniques to make supervision not only effective, but efficient. If you do the course, you’ll be better at what you do, so it’s worth doing because it will give you more time with your patients while getting better outcomes for your learners.”

The online format provides complete flexibility for time-poor clinicians who would otherwise have trouble coming to a face-to-face session.

The course can be completed in around six hours, done in blocks as time permits, and students can complete it wherever and whenever they like, using the eLearning Education app on a mobile device or a web browser.

If students need or would like further support, they will be invited to join the Department of Education’s webinar series.

“For health professionals, particularly doctors, it’s not about the money, it’s about the time. This is a practical, applied course, and we guarantee we won’t waste your time,” says Professor Trumble.

The course will be available in early 2019.

For more information, contact Melbourne Medical School’s Mobile Learning Unit or go to the course website

Course Information

  • Clinical Supervision