• ReconstructionAides-e1562894056422
  • ELC2019
  • iStock_000023085537_Full
  • iStock_000019022260_Full
  • iStock_000073656593_Full
  • iStock_000071466987_Full
  • iStock_000033210538_Full
  • iStock_000024732512_Full

Clinical education communication tips during COVID-19

ACAPT's National Consortium of Clinical Educators (NCCE) Communication Tips during COVID-19 

 

Below are tips from NCCE's board to help the clinical education community be mindful about our approach when conversing with various clinical education stakeholders:

When reaching out to site coordinators of clinical education (SCCEs)  

  • Ask how they and their staff are doing and if there is anything you can do to support them during this time (a personal touch is always appreciated!)
  • Be patient and understand they may have limited time to address clinical education inquiries immediately; work around their schedule by asking when they want you to contact them, send reminders, etc.
  • Be cognizant that planning for the 2021 calendar year may not be a priority at this time; recognize that they may be focusing on assisting programs with clinical education needs for the remainder of 2020.
  • If you are able, provide options when requesting clinical placements (ie: flexible start dates, shortened experiences, options for clinic setting preference, etc.)
  • Be transparent about curriculum revisions and the impact on student preparation for clinical education experiences; academic programs are doing what they can to minimize this but the reality is students may not “look” the same as they have in previous years.
  • Be patient and understand they may not have specific details yet or be able to answer all questions as some decisions are being made at higher administrative levels.

When reaching out to clinical instructors (CIs)

  • Ask how they and their co-workers are doing and if there is anything you can do to support them during this time.
  • Recognize that these individuals have been on the frontlines for weeks and accept that the experiences they have lived through these past several weeks may preclude them from wanting to accept a student for a clinical education experience right now.
  • Acknowledge insecurities about mentoring students and provide reassurance that their academic partners, regional consortia and the national clinical education community is available for support and shared resources.
  • Remind them that clinical education and mentoring of students doesn’t require students to participate in patient care 100% of the time; provide education and resources on alternative forms of learning (case discussions, practice of skills with the CI, administrative projects, etc.) that can offset low census.
  • Provide support, assistance and resources for first-time CIs who are stepping up to help with the demand of rescheduling cancelled experiences; foster peer learning, mentorship and co-teaching to reduce anxiety and build confidence.  
  • Provide support, assistance and resources for those CIs considering the collaborative model; foster peer learning, mentorship and co-teaching to reduce burden.
  • Provide options for in-person meetings (i.e. teleconferences, video chats, email, etc.) as site visits will likely be prohibited for some time.

When reaching out to students

  • Ask how they are doing and if there is anything you can do to support or assist them.
  • Explicitly prepare students to enter into a "new: clinical environment; while this may be the primary role of the DCE, all academic and clinical faculty should be familiar with the expectations for students.
    • Don’t forget to prepare students for the unique challenges of the current situation by addressing what to expect when entering the clinic (i.e. reduced patient caseloads/census, health guideline precautions, use of PPE, flexibility with clinical site schedule changes, etc.)
  • Prepare students to be open to alternative educational strategies such as the collaborative model (2:1), telehealth, case discussions with their CI, practice of skills during downtime, and administrative projects.
  • Maintain ongoing and transparent communication with students remembering that they are novices and will need guidance to navigate the complexities of the current situation.

When reaching out to directors of clinical education (DCEs)

  • Ask how they and their faculty are doing and if there is anything you can do to assist them during this time.
  • Recognize that these stakeholders are advocating for their students to minimize the number of students with graduation delays; be patient if they are overzealous.
  • Offer any assistance or innovative idea you may have; don’t be afraid to float any outside the box thinking by them!
  • Be patient and understand they may not have specific details yet or be able to answer all questions as some decisions are being made at higher administrative levels.

ACAPT has convened a workgroup to develop guidelines for resuming clinical education and we will share these with you as soon as they become available.

If there is anything we can do to assist you and your clinical education community as we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic, feel free to email ncce@acapt.org or share on our open access clinical education discussion forum

Join the Conversation. Contribute and Share in the ACAPT Discussions

Stay Informed & Up-To-Date with ACAPT

Sponsors & Partners