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01-04-2017 | Show and Tell | Uitgave 2/2017 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 2/2017

Bridging the training-practice gap in interprofessional student supervision

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 2/2017
Priya Martin, Saravana Kumar, LuJuana Abernathy



Workforce recruitment and retention issues are common in highly dispersed regions such as Queensland in Australia. Provision of student placements in these non-metropolitan areas is one way of promoting staff recruitment. However, healthcare professionals in these areas face a number of challenges in accessing training opportunities including student supervision training. Funding was made available to develop and run a series of targeted, evidence-based, interprofessional student supervision workshops in non-metropolitan Queensland.


Workshop participants were health professionals from both public and private health service providers in Queensland. Using a pre-post design, anonymous data were collected through surveys administered before and after workshop participation. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze participant information. Free text responses were categorized using an iterative process to identify prevalent themes.


A total of 147 participants attended nine face-to-face workshops and provided data. Allied health participants represented 70% of the population, with the remainder largely from nursing, medicine and dentistry. There was a positive shift in self-reported level of confidence in student supervision following training. Of the participants 143 (97%) reported that they acquired new skills and knowledge from training. A number of enablers of and barriers to translation of learning to practice following interprofessional student supervision training were identified.


Targeted interprofessional student supervision training is valuable and can increase participants’ self-reported level of confidence in student supervision. It is recommended that health organizations promote a culture of providing positive student placement experiences in order to maximize future workforce opportunities.
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