Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Implementation of a new model of clinical education for regional occupational therapy student clinical placements

Linda Furness A B H , Alison C. Pighills C D , Wendy Ducat E F and Anna Tynan A G
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Division of Allied Health, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, Pechey Street, Toowooomba, Qld 4350, Australia. Email: anna.tynan@health.qld.gov.au

B South West Hospital and Health Service, Bungil Street, Roma, Qld 4455, Australia.

C Mackay Hospital and Health Service, Bridge Road, Mackay, Qld 4740, Australia. Email: Alison.Pighills@health.qld.gov.au

D James Cook University, James Cook Drive, Townsville, Qld 4810, Australia.

E The Queensland Centre for Mental Health Learning, The Park Centre for Mental Health, Cnr Ellerton Drive and Court Road, Wacol, Qld 4076, Australia. Email: wendy.ducat@health.qld.gov.au

F Rural Clinical School, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Qld 4067, Australia.

G School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston, Qld 4006, Australia.

H Corresponding author. Email: linda.furness@health.qld.gov.au

Australian Health Review 41(5) 546-552 https://doi.org/10.1071/AH16044
Submitted: 15 February 2016  Accepted: 1 August 2016   Published: 16 September 2016

Abstract

Expansion of occupational therapy education programs has resulted in increased student numbers and demand on clinicians to host clinical placements while also maintaining the delivery of high-quality, safe clinical services to patients. Much of the research about innovative placement models, including student contributions to service delivery, has been conducted in metropolitan areas. Therefore, there is a need to develop models that are suited to regional settings that face diversity of caseload, more generalised occupational therapy roles and variations in patient flow. The aim of the present study was to describe the initial application of the Calderdale Framework in student education in a regional context and look at lessons learnt. The Calderdale Framework provided a structured, clinically governed process whereby occupational therapists were able to determine which tasks could be allocated to students and provided a framework to support student training and competency development. The Calderdale Framework has been used successfully to implement allied health models involving professional skill sharing and delegation of tasks to allied health assistants, but it has not been used in clinical education. Pilot implementation of the Calderdale Framework showed that the model supports quality and safety of student-provided occupational therapy services and that the teaching method provides a platform for student skill development. These results warrant further investigation and are potentially transferrable to student education in other health professions.

What is known about the topic? The Calderdale Framework provides a systematic method for reviewing skill mix, developing new roles, identifying new ways of working and facilitating service redesign in healthcare environments. It provides a structure for service and task analysis with a focus on developing clinical competencies, but has not been used in clinical education.

What does this paper add? This paper provides an overview of implementation process, challenges and strategies used in the application of the Calderdale Framework in clinical education.

What are the implications for practitioners? The Calderdale Framework provides a framework with tools and resources which can be applied to support student learning and student-provided service delivery on clinical placements. Further investigation of the application of the Calderdale Framework in pre-entry student placements is warranted.


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