2. Your Clinical Placement

In this section you will find detailed information relevant to your Clinical Placement with Monash Health.

Your placement with Monash Health cannot commence without agreement that you have read and understood certain aspects of the following sections.  Please review them carefully.

The following information is designed to provide you with a safe and positive placement at Monash Health.

Placement Expectations

Orientation to Placement Setting

There is considerable variation from setting to setting. Some areas have developed orientation programs and folders to assist you in adapting to their workplace; others expect you to show initiative. It is expected that you will take responsibility to prepare for your clinical experience. The following points provide a suggestion of areas that may need to be clarified:

  • Location of the clinical placement setting: maps, public transport timetables
  • Introduction to staff: You must know who you are responsible to and who will be assessing you
  • Introduction to protocols, you must know:
    • Emergency procedures for fire & codes
    • Infection control requirements including hand hygiene
    • Documentation procedures
    • Procedures for the loan of equipment
    • Legal requirements

Further information for your placement can be found under Your Specialty, in the Student Orientation Website.

Clinic expectations

Take the time to clarify with your supervisor any uncertainties you may have about any of the following:

  • Uniforms, name badges
  • Professional behavior (punctuality, absenteeism/time sheets, confidentiality)
  • Expectations of tasks
  • Starting and finishing times
  • Lunch and tea breaks
  • Fitness to practice (you may be required to provide a statement from your treating healthcare practitioner to confirm this)

Withdrawal from Clinical Placement

Withdrawal by a student from a subject involving clinical placements is subject to the same rules as withdrawal from any other enrolled education facility subject.

Reasons for Withdrawal from Placement

A student may be withdrawn from a placement where:

  • The student is consistently unable, after due instruction and guidance, to perform in a professional situation without an inappropriate or an unattainable degree of supervision from the Supervisor in relation to:
  • professional skills involving patient/client comfort or safety;
  • the performance of technical procedures already taught, demonstrated and practiced in a prior professional or practical situation;
  • The student performs in a manner detrimental to the learning experiences of other students;
  • The student breaches the legal, ethical or professional codes relative to professional work;
  • The student demonstrates gross negligence in the performance of an assigned duty.
  • Procedure
  • Where a Supervisor is of the opinion that a student should be withdrawn from a placement, the Supervisor will inform the University of the issues necessitating withdrawal as soon as possible. This will then be further followed up by the student′s university faculty.

Placement Hours, Attendance & Leave

Clinical Hours

Students are expected to fit in with the hours kept by staff at the placement location and are expected to minimise non‐clinic commitments during the placement.

Clinical hours include direct patient‐contact, patient‐related activities and independent study time. The focus of the clinical placement is on attaining the required clinical competencies. Make‐up of missed days, where permitted, are negotiated between the student coordinator, education provider and clinical educator.

Attendance & Leave

Attendance

You are expected to attend all orientation sessions, tutorials, and other clinical placement activities as directed by your Student Coordinator andor Supervisor.

Unplanned Leave

If you are unwell and unable to attend your clinical placement, you must contact your primary clinical educator via phone as soon as possible, ideally 15-30 minutes prior to the starting time. Email or text message is not appropriate.

Acceptable certification must be handed to the clinical educator on the next working day.

Appropriate certification (e.g. medical certificate from a health professional) is required for all health related absences

It is courtesy to assist with work load planning for the student to contact their clinical educator by 4pm if the student knows their likely health status for the following day. Discussions with your Student Coordinator and Education Provider need to occur regarding placement days being renegotiated following any unplanned leave.

Dress Code & Identification

Dress Code

Where clinics do not require students to wear a uniform, appearance must be professional, dignified and suitable to the clinical environment.

Garments are to be appropriately fitted, in good repair and clean:

  • Underwear should not be observable.
  • Clothing must ensure there is no exposed abdomen, buttocks or breasts.
  • Jewellery must be unobtrusive to clinical practice.
  • Hair must be appropriate to clinical practice.
  • Shoes are considered a component of personal protective equipment in minimising risk to toes/feet when working in the clinical environment:

All staff and students working in clinical areas involved in transferring and/or moving patients are required to wear closed toe shoes and non-slip soles.  Any staff member or student entering a kitchen must have footwear with non-slip soles.   Closed heels on shoes are recommended to minimise slips and trips.  Stockings/socks must be worn.

The following clothing is not permitted:

  • Denim jeans
  • Track suits
  • T-shirts with inappropriate slogans/pictures/logos
  • Thongs

Identification

Depending on the duration of your placement you may be required to obtain a Monash Health ID badge. You student coordinator will provide you with the relevant information if this is required.

If your placement is less than 2 weeks, you are required to wear your University ID badge. On your first day you will be provided with a Monash Health Visitors Badge.

Privacy & Consent

Confidentiality Agreement

Privacy and the protection of personal information of client/patients is a serious issue and one of which students need to be aware when undertaking placements.

Confidential information learned whilst on placement should not be divulged at anytime, this includes via social media (when following the hyperlink please locate and click on the link to the PDF file ‘Social Media and the Medical Profession, Australian Medical Association’).

This requirement continues even after the patient has been discharged, or the student has left the health service and Education facility.

Students undertaking placements are required to abide by the confidentiality procedures of the health service.

If there is any doubt of whether a piece of information is confidential, it should be assumed confidential until it is otherwise defined.

Students are expected to be aware of the Code of Ethics governing their discipline, section 141 of the Health Services Act 1988 which governs confidentiality and the Privacy Principles, which are contained in Privacy Act 1988 and Health Records Act 2001.

The Privacy Principles are the standards set by the Privacy Act (Federal) and Health Records Act (Victoria).

We recommend reading the brochure “Health Privacy it’s my business”, outlining the Privacy Principles which can be obtained from the Health Services Commissioner website http://www.health.vic.gov.au/hsc/.

Privacy and Student Information

University departments regard medical information forwarded by students as confidential. The Department will only inform staff and clinical educators of the health service if expressly requested to do so by the student.

Students are therefore advised that if they have a medical condition that may affect their performance in a clinic they should inform the clinical educator at the commencement of their clinical placement.

Rights & Responsibilities

Students Rights & Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the Student to:

  • prepare thoroughly for the clinical placement
  • revise relevant theory and relevant practical skills
  • know the objectives of the clinical subject
  • check the details of the agency
  • contact the student coordinator 2 weeks prior to the placement (or as required)
  • comply with the protocols and policies of their University Department and the health service
  • advise the Clinical Coordinator if you are unwell or unfit for practice (e.g. acute illness or injury)
  • follow the directions of, and report to, their allocated clinical educator(s)
  • provide patient care under professional supervision
  • recognise the limits of their knowledge and expertise and seek assistance where appropriate
  • identify their learning goals and strategies
  • use educator feedback to develop clinical competencies
  • reflect on their learning via regular self‐assessment

Student rights include the right to:

1. Expect certain characteristics of the clinical educator

  • appropriate qualifications
  • flexible, fair and consistent in values
  • guidance but encouragement of independence
  • responsible for organisation and management concerns affecting the student

2. Be adequately observed

  • so that timely feedback can be given
  • so that all aspects of performance which will be assessed have been observed by the clinical educator

3. Receive feedback that is timely, balanced, independent and specific

4. Specific role definition

  • to expect clinical educator to communicate expectations
  • to question requirements of clinical educator

5. Develop personal therapy styles that are logical and scientifically sound

6. Be assertive (not passive, aggressive or demanding)

7. Make mistakes

Clinical Educator Responsibilities & Rights

It is the responsibility of the clinical educator to:

  • Orient the student to the clinical environment (including relevant policies and protocols).
  • Allocate a caseload appropriate to the level of the course and the student’s abilities.
  • Provide a level of supervision (demonstrating, observing, instructing) which is appropriate to the level of the course and the student’s abilities.
  • Provide regular and specific feedback to the student on their clinical work.
  • Ensure that students who have access to patients/clients are competent to perform their allotted tasks and that they conduct themselves in a safe and professional manner.
  • Conduct a mid‐placement assessment and discuss the results with the student.
  • Conduct a final assessment and discuss the results with the student

Clinical Educators’ rights include the right to:

1. Define general goals of the clinic.

2. Describe and expect fulfilment of student’s job responsibilities.

3. Be respected as a human being and as a health professional.

4. Professionally act in the following manner:

  • to be honest
  • to react emotionally
  • to criticise as well as praise
  • to expect honesty and dependability
  • to provide model (for students) for clinical and professional actions

5. Offer and receive mutual feedback:

  • make justified criticism
  • to get feedback from supervisee about supervision

6. Establish the mode of interaction:

  • to create atmosphere of open communication
  • to create atmosphere for discussion, disagreement, initiative, motivation and creativity.
  • to create atmosphere for encouraging supervisee to seek assistance and guidance when needed.

Client’s Rights

Students on clinical placement should be mindful of the rights of patients and clients. Students should familiarise themselves with the particular policy on client rights which applies in each clinical placement.

1. The Right to Choose

  • Clients of any health service have the right to decide whether or not they wish to be assessed and/or treated by a student health practitioner.
  • Clients have the right to choose whether or not they wish to act on, or comply with, any recommended treatment or course of action.
  • Clients also have the right to expect to be involved in decisions about the management of their health problems.

2. The Right to Confidentiality

  • Any information you obtain about a client, either verbally, from the medical record or any other source, should not be disclosed to any other person without the express permission of the client concerned.
  • Medical records should not be left unsecured (e.g. left unattended where they may be read by an unauthorised person), and should at no time be removed from the ward/department or agency.

3. The Right to Privacy and Dignity

  • Clients have the right to expect that verbal and physical assessments and treatments will be carried out in a manner that respects the individual’s privacy and dignity.

4. The Right to Impartiality

  • Clients have the right to be treated without prejudice, regardless of personal characteristics. Students should be particularly vigilant when working with clients whose personal values are not shared by the student.

5. The Right to be Informed

  • Clients have the right to expect to be fully informed of the potential risks and benefits of any procedure that is deemed necessary or desirable during the provision of a health service.

OH&S

In this section you will find relevant information to ensure your clinical placement, is safe and successful. Please thoroughly read through the following to ensure you are aware of Monash Health guidelines and policies, and have completed the required OH&S training through LATTE prior to commencement of your placement.

Monash Health is a smoke free organisation. Smoking is not permitted on any Monash Health property.

Incidents On Placement

Incidence or Injury while on Clinical Placement

Any incident involving the student or a patient in the student′s care whilst on clinical placement must be reported to the primary clinical educator immediately and to the Student Coordinator within 2 working days. Reporting of the incident should be performed following both the health service and the University guidelines. It is unethical and unprofessional conduct to fail to report an incident to the health service and the education provider

The student must:

  • Advise their clinical educator of the incident
  • Comply with the health service protocol and complete an incident form as required
  • Seek medical advice if necessary
  • Advise the Clinical Coordinator at the University

Criminal Behaviour

If a complaint involved alleged criminal behaviour, e.g. sexual or physical assault, the complainant has the right to report the matter to the police. Monash Health will provide appropriate support for the complainant during any investigations.

Emergency Codes & Fire Training

Emergency Codes

Monash Health has adopted the standard colour code system for specific emergencies as provided in AS 4083-1997. Colour codes for emergencies other than those listed below may lead to confusion and shall not be used. Please familiarise yourself with these codes, to prepare you for your placement.

To call a Code within Monash Health, dial 999.

Fire Training

All students are expected to complete online fire training prior to commencing their clinical placement. This online training should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

As a student, in the event of a fire, you must follow the instructions of the senior personnel within the department at the time, or zone warden if you are on the wards. Should you be in another area of the hospital at the time the emergency is announced, you should remain in that department and follow the orders of the senior person and zone warden in that area.

In every room you can find an Emergency Procedures booklet explaining the emergency codes and procedures to be followed. Students are able to call in an emergency by dialing 999 stating the type of emergency, the situation and where exactly you are.

At Monash Health, fire training is designed to ensure all staff and contractors can follow our fire and emergency procedures. This online training is mandatory. It must be completed annually by all Monash Health employees and all contractors working at any of our sites.

Infection Control & Immunisations

Infection Control

Monash Health has a dedicated Infection Control Unit across 5 sites and a clear policy and procedure manual. The manual comprises infection control protocols that have been formulated by the Monash Health Infection Control Team and approved by the Monash Health Infection Prevention Committee.

The Infection Control Manual can be found via the Infection Control Unit on the Monash Health intranet site.

Monash Health utilises standard precautions for all patients to reduce infection transmission. Good hand hygiene is the primary means for reducing infection transmission. Monash Health recommends standard soap washing procedures if your hands are visibly soiled, after using the bathroom or if you have had contact with a patient with Clostridium difficile (a bacterium that does not respond to the alcohol based hand rubs). For all other general hand hygiene, the alcohol based hand rub is recommended and has been found to be more effective than soap.

There are five critical times for hand hygiene, they are:

  • Before touching a patient.
  • Before a procedure.
  • After a procedure or body fluid exposure risk.
  • After touching a patient.
  • After touching a patient′s surroundings.

Students are required to complete the Online Hand Hygiene Package prior to placement.

If you have any queries regarding infection control or occupational exposure please speak with your supervisor immediately.

Immunisations

The following immunisations are recommended for all staff and students at Monash Health.

  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella – documented doses of measles containing vaccine (in those born during or after 1966) or history of the disease
  • Chicken Pox – course of 2 injections or history of disease or positive serology
  • Hepatitis B – history of 3 injections and evidence of blood levels > 10 mlU/ml after vaccinations
  • Mantoux test within 12 months prior to placement
  • Annual Influenza Vaccination (REQUIRED)

It is now a requirement that students undertaking clinical placement at Monash Health to:

  • Provide confirmation of current influenza immunisation status at commencement of placement; OR
  • Obtain influenze vaccination on the first day of placement (provided by Monash Health free of charge to the student and University) OR;
  • Conscientous Objectors may continue placement by wearing a mask at all times while in the clinical setting.

 

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