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Providing quality placements for students in the hospital setting is an essential component of the BSc in Clinical Measurement Science degree programme at DIT. The practice educator (hospital supervisor) role involves mentoring and supervising students on placement. Prior to 2012 practice educators received no training to support this role. Current training involves one full day of generic education and a second half-day of discipline specific knowledge relating to projects, log books and assessments. The aim of this research is to identify training needs for practice educators across the four disciplines and recommend an education framework to meet those needs. The proposed framework will be transferable to other degree programmes within DIT such as Biomedical Sciences, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Optometry, Ophthalmic Dispensing and Social Care. There are currently 41 sites offering clinical placements to the BSc in Clinical Measurement Science. In May 2016 the chief in each department was surveyed to gain an understanding of how placements were managed within the hospital setting. In all 38 of the 41 sites took part in the survey. From the research it was clear that practice educators within Clinical Measurement Science have a desire for further knowledge and training to support their role. As the only education provider in the south of Ireland offering this degree programme it is incumbent on us to provide this post-graduate education. A 5 ECTS, level 9 module on practice education is currently under the review. The implication of this research is great. Clinical physiology departments are understaffed and receive no additional resources for taking students on placement. Providing practice educators with on-going training and support will be critical to ensuring there will be enough placements in the future to meet the degree programme needs.
McNeill, M. (2016) The Planning and Development of an Education Framework for Practice Educators within Health and Social Care Professions. DIT Teaching Fellowship Reports 2015-2016.