• Students have skills in new learning and investigating possible practices.
  • Be transparent about the new demands you are facing in this new clinical environment and assign student(s) to investigate and share their learning in an area new to you both. Discuss this during orientation and during debrief sessions throughout placement as expectations change given the current evolving circumstances.
  • Have students connect with colleagues who do have expertise in the area.

  • Consider sharing a student with another clinician so that there are more patients and more diversity in the student’s learning (See Models of Supervision ).
  • Work with the Site Coordinator to set up a rotating schedule of supervision with different clinicians who may have busier caseloads.
  • See the Learner-Centred, Self-Directed Learning  for ideas for additional learner activities while on placement.

  • Book time at the start of placement to share your schedule and book in specific times for discussion – be explicit with your availability and negotiate timing with the learner.
  • Consider modifying your scheduling to involve the students. (see Schedule Your Patients in Waves ).
  • Consider supervising two students and/or partnering with a colleague with one or two students (see Models of Supervision ).
  • Share your clinical reasoning and teaching during your patient’s session, using patient-centred language. The student could follow-up with writing about that reasoning in professional wording.
  • Use the one-minute preceptor tool to assess and provide feedback to the learner in the moment.

  • Be honest with your learner about how much you are able to give – help them understand the stress that you and your colleagues have been under. Use the COVID Conversation Guide  to discuss how day-to-day work life has changed.
  • Seek support from colleagues who may not be as busy or may have more energy to spare. Your learner might spend a few hours with another clinician learning about their practice, including assessment, treatment and documentation.
  • Take care of yourself, and share strategies with the learner.

  • Make sure that you take the time that you need to maintain your wellness. When you are more able to care for yourself, you will have more to give to others (learners, patients, team members).
  • Much has changed since you may have made a commitment to supervise a student. Our hope is that some clinicians feel prepared to support our learners again so that students can graduate and become our colleagues.
  • There are Models of Supervision  which provide opportunity for vacation (e.g. 2 preceptors: 2 students or 2 preceptors: 1 student), with adaptations for physical distancing.
  • Depending upon timing of vacation and level of student, some vacation may be possible even in a 1:1 placement with supportive colleagues (consider other professions too).

  • As you provide this information to your client (about differences in current virtual care), collaborate with student about ideas for alternates/simulation.
  • If the student is able to be on-site, direct them to the resources that would allow them to experience those other tasks/skills. If another student is available at your site (from the same profession or professions where scope of practice has some overlap), suggest that they practice those tasks with the other student.

  • Ask student to keep a journal and record what they have learned and areas to focus upon in future learning. Shared preceptors can read the comments at any time and continue to add to the journal (via the student).
  • Encourage student’s self-evaluation (it enhances student’s development into a reflective practitioner).
  • Encourage learners to be proactive in their learning and seeking of feedback. Learners may share with new preceptor "today I am focusing on X" prior to a session so that new preceptor will be able to provide meaningful feedback during that one session.
  • All preceptors involved in supervision should have a copy of placement competencies/skills areas/rating scales to understand expectations for placement.

  • It is ok to modify goals and expectations in the face of shifted timelines and clinical opportunities during clinical placements.
  • Work with the academic institution to determine what clinical learning will be possible during a shorter placement.
  • Discuss with the learner their goals and expectations of this condensed placement.

« Back to COVID-19 supporting clinical teaching & learning
Back to Top