Interested in Becoming a Clinical Educator?

Are you a Clinical Educator? Have you supervised an MPT student on clinical placement? The Clinical Education team in the Department of Physical Therapy at UBC is always looking for new clinical educators and strives to best support their MPT students and clinical educators throughout the clinical placement experience.

As per UBC’s Department of Physical Therapy Clinical Education Manual, a Clinical Educator is “an individual, employed by the facility, who is responsible for the direct instruction, supervision and evaluation of the physiotherapy student in the clinical setting.”

Clinical supervision models vary depending on the placement situation and may involve more than one therapist or health professional. Students must have access to a registered physiotherapist for guidance, instruction and evaluation for at least 50% of the time during their placement. This ratio depends on various factors which must be carefully considered and discussed between the Clinical Educator, the student and the Clinical Education team.

Throughout the duration of the MPT Program, students hold student registration with the CPTBC. However, is it critical for students and clinical educators to understand that patient safety is always the responsibility of the supervising therapist(s).

Licensed physiotherapists may become Clinical Educators at any point in their career, from new graduates to soon-to-be retired physiotherapists working in any area of practice. Clinical placements allow students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in an authentic clinical environment; this learning-in-context and active participation is critical to the development of clinical reasoning and professional identity.

Feedback from students supports the perspective that new graduates can offer great mentorship and enriched learning experiences on placement. New graduates possess a sound understanding of current curricular guidelines, thus shaping the learning opportunities to reflect entry-level standards.

Likewise, feedback from recent curriculum workshops with clinical stakeholders emphasized the value and importance for MPT students to focus on foundational skills and knowledge throughout the academic and clinical placement aspects of the MPT curriculum. Focusing learning opportunities on foundational skills in a variety of clinical contexts with increasing complexity as the student progresses through the program will best facilitate the development of safe entry-level competencies and sound clinical-reasoning.

Supporting a student on placement can offer opportunities for shared learning and knowledge exchange between the student and supervising therapist. Please contact karen.sauve@ubc.ca with any questions.