Creating an environment conducive to learning
The ideal learning environment would have the following characteristics:
(i) Learning culture in the workplace: a culture where learners are valued and feel safe to learn, and progress to achieve their full potential. The supervisors act as good role models giving regular constructive feedback to trainees, appreciating that they are still learning and might make mistakes, involving patients and carers in the learning events and opportunities, and establishing a relationship of mutual trust between supervisors and trainees and each other, with clear expectations for each.
(ii) Supporting individual learners: trainees’ individual welfare and physical environment are taken care of, they receive suitable induction programmes when they join so that they are clear about their roles, their physical and clinical environment and expectations, and know whom to contact if they have educational or clinical concerns. They receive supervision appropriate to their competence, are encouraged to get involved in planning learning opportunities, engage in interprofessional learning and team working to ensure good clinical care and patient safety.
(iii) Supervisors in the workplace setting: clear communications between professional groups and individuals; regular planning and review meetings of placement supervision groups, supervisors, and other Faculty to discuss issues related to quality improvement of training activities, learning events and opportunities, trainee performance and concerns, involving trainees appropriately when necessary; and following best practice so that supervisors are consistent, calibrate their assessments of trainees, and have opportunities for developing themselves as clinical educators.
(iv) Safe service provision: trainees play an active part in service provision, taking responsibility for providing patient care of increasing complexity as they progress, using reflection, and constructive feedback from supervisors. Trainee learning needs are balanced with the service needs of the department so that patient care is not compromised; supervisors act as good role models teaching trainees organisational and management skills, as well as prioritisation skills in the workplace.
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