Clinical placements are an opportunity for students to integrate the knowledge learnt at university with real-life experiences so they consolidate the skills needed to competently practice in their field. Students in field placements may have not yet acquired mature coping strategies to handle client situations which evoke strong emotions and may have yet to learn how to negotiate organisational demands which create stress (Litvack et al, 2010, p.229). Likewise, the clinical educator may be pressed for time, faced with their own personal issues in addition to work and have organisational strain to deal with. Maintaining your emotional wellbeing or ‘mental fitness’ during the education process is imperative to ensure a positive learning experience for the student and positive teaching experience for the educator.
Consider the scenario where a student working with you was particularly anxious or making you feel anxious during a supervision session.
- What would your approach be?
- How would you broach this with the student?
- What strategies might you suggest?
- Who else may you want to involve if it is not improving?
- Are you familiar with any workplace or university policies to guide you through this scenario?