Attributes of excellence in practice educators: The perspectives of Australian occupational therapy students

Rodger, Sylvia, Thomas, Yvonne, Greber, Craig, Broadbridge, Jacqueline, Edwards, Ann, Newton, Julie and Lyons, Michael (2014) Attributes of excellence in practice educators: The perspectives of Australian occupational therapy students. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 61 3: 159-167. doi:10.1111/1440-1630.12096

Author Rodger, Sylvia
Thomas, Yvonne
Greber, Craig
Broadbridge, Jacqueline
Edwards, Ann
Newton, Julie
Lyons, Michael
Title Attributes of excellence in practice educators: The perspectives of Australian occupational therapy students
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-0766
Publication date 2014-06-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12096
Open Access Status
Volume 61
Issue 3
Start page 159
End page 167
Total pages 9
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aim: Occupational therapists frequently undertake the role of practice educator contributing to the development of the future workforce, however, little is known about how they effectively perform this role. This study aimed to elucidate students' perspectives on what makes an excellent practice educator.

Method: Documentation for 124 Practice Excellence Commendations nominations by Queensland occupational therapy students for Queensland Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Collaborative awards between 2008 and 2011 were analysed. These were based on students' experiences on long block placements (five weeks or more) in their later years of undergraduate or masters' entry study. Written nominations addressing five selection criteria were de-identified and responses to each of these compiled. One independent coder and the two lead authors read the transcripts, identified coding categories and reached consensus regarding emerging themes using standard content and thematic analysis techniques.

Results: Providing the 'just right' challenge was the overarching theme that symbolised excellence in practice education from students' perspectives. Three themes emerged that enabled practice educators to provide student support needed to balance the challenges of learning on placement; (i) valuing a reciprocal relationship; (ii) facilitating learning opportunities and experiences; and (iii) encouraging autonomy and independence.

Conclusion: Findings provided insights into student perceptions about how excellent practice educators facilitated their learning while on placement. These insights can be used to inform practice educators who wish to enhance their supervision skills. Future research should focus on how the attributes of practice educators positively influence student learning outcomes.
Keyword Clinical education
Practice education
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 15 Nov 2013, 23:21:41 EST by Professor Sylvia Rodger on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences