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Student supervision - Lilly



Lilly is a Band 5 registered dietician who works in a community healthcare centre. Lilly has recently been asked by her employer to supervise Isaac, a second-year student dietician, during his practice-based learning.

As Lilly has never supervised a student before, she is concerned about whether she has the appropriate skills and training to supervise Isaac and is unsure about what her responsibilities are.

How did Lilly approach the supervision?

Lilly decides to approach her manager, Val, for further advice and support. They arrange to meet in a private space, to discuss Lilly’s concerns.

Through this discussion, Val is able to direct Lilly to supervision training by relevant organisations. This includes training required by Isaac’s education provider, which includes specific detail on how Isaac’s practice-based learning should be structured, as well as learning objectives that Isaac will be required to meet. Lilly is also directed to further training and practice education tools issued by her employer and is advised to check whether her professional body has any additional resources available.

After reviewing these resources and conducting further training, Lilly feels confident in her ability to supervise Isaac.

In advance of the practice-based learning commencing, Lilly is sent a document from Isaac’s education provider summarising his learning needs, which he previously identified. Lilly organises a private induction meeting with Isaac on his first day, to discuss his learning needs and objectives and to run through relevant information, as requested by his education provider. This includes:

  • Induction materials
  • Any relevant risks or safety issues
  • What records need to be kept, and in what format
  • The assessment method and criteria
  • Lines of communication and responsibility

Lilly also advises Isaac about what he should do if something goes wrong, or if he has a concern.  As the community centre will be a completely new environment for Isaac, Lilly also uses this opportunity to show Isaac around the centre, so he is familiar with his surroundings when his learning begins.

How did Lilly effectively approach the supervision?

By approaching her manager, Lilly was able to identify and complete additional supervision training. This meant that Lilly was suitably qualified and experienced to carry out Isaac’s supervision, which increased Lilly’s confidence and helped ensure patient safety.

Reviewing the education provider’s requirements and taking the time to speak with Isaac helped Lilly to identify Isaac’s learning needs, so that she could structure the supervision appropriately. This helped ensure Isaac successfully met his learning objectives.

Starting a new role can be challenging, and at times feel overwhelming. Showing Isaac around the healthcare centre also meant that Isaac was more familiar with his new workplace setting, which increased his confidence.

Page updated on: 27/09/2021