Who's going to inspire your students?!

Teaching is an important aspect in relation to advance practice and is an expectation…however I think this blog is relevant to all radiography staff members…

So it’s the end of the staff meeting within the department and the chairperson asks is there any other business? At this point there is silence until the clinical supervisor of the department says “Oh yes, just as a reminder to you all, the students are returning next week”. At this point there sighs and groans about how students take up so much time. Is this a familiar sounding situation to your own department?

This was a situation that I found to be common when I was working in clinical. Not all colleagues felt this way but of course there were a select few colleagues who had this reaction.

I personally enjoyed teaching students although I do recognise staff are under pressure by managing clinical duties within a busy high pressured department and often staff can have limited teaching experience especially with those students who are struggling. It is for that reason that I believe staff should be encouraged to attend courses on mentoring and teaching in order to improve confidence with teaching and dealing with students especially whilst working within a teaching hospital where teaching of students is seen as being a component of your role straight away. This is why I also believe that it is essential that mentorship becomes part of the radiography undergraduate curriculum as final year students will be becoming the teacher for students upon qualification and this is daunting for those who have experience let alone those who are new to their careers.

Clinical education is an important component of training for radiography students and it is essential that the transition to clinical placement particularly for first year students is successful. This is due to the implications that can arise when a student withdraws for the student and the associated university. However, from a clinical department situation think of the impact that could be had on the reputation of the department. Would you want to work in a department that is perceived as being unfriendly or unhelpful?

We have all dealt with those students who appear disinterest or bored. Could it be they appear like this because they haven’t been involved? During my time working in clinical I worked in a specialised area and often students would rotate through to interventional radiology with no interest at all. I recommend seeing these students as a challenge. Inject them with enthusiasm about your specialism, get them involved within the team. Use their time to promote your speciality, as it could be that they have no knowledge of what goes on rather than a disinterest. Having the ability to promote your specialism will help with employment in the future for example my previous blogs have discussed how interventional radiology is often a forgotten area… don’t let it be, enthuse your students.

It is important to remember that students are representatives of the department they train in, install good practice so as that are recognised as being good students from YOUR departments.

They are the future of radiography and remember one day they could be your colleague or even boss, so don’t see them as a hassle think of them as an opportunity!

Kay Hackett LinkedIn

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