Problem Identification and Intervention

Placement can be a challenging time for many students who are juggling academic course work, employment and family responsibilities. Students may experience difficulty during their placement for various reasons, including:

  • personal stress (social, mental and physical health, relationship issues, domestic and financial);
  • stress relating to other work commitments and university deadlines;
  • unclear expectations;
  • lack of confidence;
  • limited clinical experience; and
  • previous negative professional practice experiences.

Regardless of the nature or source of the challenge, if you notice a negative change in your student's performance on placement it is essential that you have a direct conversation with the student stating your observations and concerns. Your response as a supervisor is critical and may be influential in assisting the student to address issues of concern in a timely manner.  We recommend that you notify your ACU Professional Practice Coordinator regarding your concerns at this time so that they may work with you and the student to identify the most appropriate course of action.

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The student experiencing difficulties may demonstrate or display:

  • inconsistent levels of clinical performance and competence
  • difficulty translating theory into practice
  • inappropriate behaviour and presentation
  • limited interaction and communication skills with client
  • lack of interest, motivation and initiative
  • inadequate preparation, organisational and prioritisation skills
  • inadequate response to feedback - failing to effectively utilise feedback to improve performance.

Please review the At Risk of Failing Student Process for managing student learning and/or performance issues on placement. If you believe that you have a student who may fall within this process please contact your Professional Practice Coordinator as soon as possible. They will be able to discuss the issues with you and assist with formulating a plan to manage the situation.

If an injury or near-miss is sustained during placement, the following procedure is to be followed:

  1. The student notifies their placement supervisor of the incident or near miss.
  2. The supervisor, with the student, completes the organisations incident report. If your organisation does not have an incident report please complete the ACU Accident and Incident Report.
  3. Please notify your student's Professional Practice Coordinator of the incident.
  4. The student should forward the incident documentation to their Professional Practice Coordinator.

For a more detailed process please review Work Health and Safety for Professional Practice.

There is an established policy and process to handle complaints made by students. For further information please refer to the ACU Student Complaint Management. Should you have any concerns with regard to potential student complaints please contact the relevant Professional Practice Coordinator for your discipline.

Contact your Professional Practice Coordinator

Next: Assessing Learning