Balancing service work & learning opportunities in the workplace
- Early identification of educational needs is important. Once the needs are identified a plan can be made to meet these needs. Encouraging a trainee to meet with you to discuss their personal development plan would be a good way to approach this. Allow additional time for supervision and mentoring at the beginning of a placement to facilitate this.
- Work as a team. It is sensible to suggest that the trainee works with their peers to timetable in educational needs. For example, if there are certain days on a rota where more staff are available, take it in turns on those days to spend time on education such as clinic or theatre. This can then be reciprocated within the team ensuring fair working, and addressing educational needs.
- If a trainee wishes or is required to go on specific courses, training days or exams ensure that the trainer and trainee are familiar with the study leave policy. If there are issues with providing study leave this could be addressed with the department and others as required.
- Personal organisation skills and being proactive are helpful in maintaining this balance. Educational needs will always exist throughout one’s career. Ensuring that trainees take responsibility for their own learning is important. It might be appropriate for supervisors to support junior trainees to improve their personal organisation skills to ensure that their educational needs are met.
- Networking and specific education focused roles. Often there are consultants or senior colleagues in a department who might be leads in research or teaching. Identifying this with your supervisor early on, and making contact with these individuals might be useful.
- Finally, there are some roles which specifically allocate time for education such as academic fellowships and clinical fellowships in teaching or research and mentoring schemes. Trainees could be proactively looking for these and supervisors could also signpost trainees to these opportunities where possible.
Clinical Supervision: Teaching and Facilitating Learning
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