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Enhancing Workplace Practice in Health and Human Services Sectors - 2013


2013 Tasmanian Clinical Education Network Expressions of Interest

Development of an online learning management system – Statewide

Tasmanian Health Organisations Statewide / Human Resources (StaffLink)

The development of an online learning management system and shared online orientation materials for undergraduate students being placed in Tasmanian Health Organisations (THO’s) - South, North and North West.

Project strengths

  • Direct effect on improving the experience of ALL students being placed statewide in THOs by setting expectations and addressing questions and concerns students may have
  • Allows the statewide THOs to meet compliance requirements around orientation
  • Provides an online environment TCEN can leverage for online education

Provides an online framework for communication and managing the initial experience that can be continually monitored and improved.

Formal evaluation of Graduate Program and Framework development

Aged and Community Services Tasmania

In 2011 Aged & Community Services Tasmania (ACST) completed a ‘Workforce Census’. The data collected through the Census indicated that the fastest ageing demographic of our workforce was Registered Nurses.

Due to the general lack of understanding of the role of a Registered Nurse in the contemporary aged care environment and the associated wage structure our Sector has traditionally struggled to attract Register Nurses.

In line with the above in ACST, on behalf of the Sector developed and implemented the ACST Graduate Nurse Transition to Practice Program.

On face value, based on feedback received from the Sector as a whole, participating organisations and participants of the program, this program has been extremely successful. Through the program over the past two years we have been able to attract approximately 60 new Registered Nurses to our Sector.

Through this project ACST will undertake a formal evaluation of the project and use the framework to support the development and implementation of other Graduate/Transition to practice programs.

Dedicated equipment for Allied Health students

Allied Health Services -

Tasmanian Health Organisation, North West

To provide dedicated desk, locker space and computer access for Allied Health students based at the three sites in the Tasmanian Health Organisation, North West – two places at North West Regional Hospital and one place Devonport Community and Health Services Centre.

Dedicated student space has been a significant hindrance to the update of clinical placements within Allied Health across the THO-North West. The spaces will be open to all Allied Health students while on placement giving them secure place to store belongings, as well as dedicated space to work from and access to a computer to complete placement work.

Development of a Tasmanian Aboriginal Cultural Learning Framework

Tasmania Aboriginal Health Centre
- Aboriginal Health Service

The development of a sustainable business model in order to deliver a suite of accredited and validated cultural competence training options.

At the completion of this project, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre would have a range of training options that would allow for the extension of the life of this project.

The Framework proposes to deliver the following:

  • Cultural competence training for compliance with quality frameworks
  • Accredited units of training that articulate into formal qualifications
  • Cultural orientation for students prior to clinical placements at Aboriginal Health Service

Improved cultural confidence for individual health workers

Clinical training for students within oral health, medicine, nursing and pharmacy

Oral Health Services Tasmania – Tasmanian Health Organisation, South

OHST currently hosts third year medical students for half day ‘observational placements’. The proposed project will expand that current program to include nursing and pharmacy students and see the development, in consultation with the training institutions, of a more structured program that will provide a hands on full day session of both didactic and experiential sessions to enable the students to have real time experience with clients and better understand the impact of oral health on general health. It will also assist in developing their understanding of the role of their own discipline in the treatment and prevention of oral health issues.

Improving clinical education and support for students in inter-professional settings

Cornerstone Youth Services

To refine and improve clinical education and support in the interest of maximising the utility of the inter-professional workforce on-site.

Resourcing of a Project Officer to achieve the following

  • Evaluation of current clinical induction, orientation and initial credentialing processes and practices, and recommendations and implementation including recommendations about core competencies for practice,
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of those existing practices designed to maximise the inter-professional utility of the workforce and provide clinical supervisors with greater resourcing and direction with regards to educating and supporting clinical staff and
  • Conduct a feasibility analysis and scope the extension of mental health service provision to enable greater reach to the market (youth) in rural and remote communities.

Trial the engagement of a mental health specialist, specifically in the area of psychiatry, to support the clinical development of staff engaged in mental health work (including GP registrars as well as Allied Health).

Allied Health Professional Clinical Education Development Coordinator

Tasmanian Health Organisation – South
Allied Health Services

Annually, Allied Health Professional Services—Audiology, Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Podiatry, Social Work, Speech Pathology and Chaplaincy) and Radiography Services provide approximately 78 clinical placements (480 weeks). The objective of the project was to trial, examine the feasibility of, and scope a new position, Allied Health Professional Clinical Education Development Coordinator. Although there are similar positions in mainland hospitals, there are no positions within or across allied health professions in Tasmania. Such a position could assist to increase the number of placements provided through improved support for clinical supervisors and service managers.

The outcome of the project was increased knowledge about the practicalities and funding requirements of this innovative position through a person trialling the role.

The output of the project was a business case for a position to undertake the roles identified. The business case also included a project report and draft statements of duty for two positions at different award levels.

Virtual Tours – Rural Practice Settings

University Department of Rural Health – University of Tasmania

Hosting Virtual Orientation Tours of rural practice settings via the TCEN website addresses the need to attract and prepare students from all education sectors and disciplinary backgrounds for rural/remote placements (TCEN 2012-13). This project extends the work piloted under the HWA funded Distributed Simulation Project (SLE-2012-018-DistSim03) to augment and stimulate interest in rural/remote placements and allay students’ pre-placement anxiety. By showcasing ‘virtual tours’ of rural health services, students will better understand these services, the supports, resources, infrastructure and breadth of learning opportunities available and thus align their goals and expectations of the rural professional experience placement to optimise clinical learning.


Expression of Interest process

An Expression of Interest for Enhancing Workplace Practice in Health and Human Services was distributed to TCEN members in May 2013.

The TCEN invited applications for funding grants for innovative strategies designed to increase capacity for professional entry student placements from across all health, human and education sectors that enhanced the capacity for clinical education within their organisation.

EOI's were to demonstrate a direct correlation to the key strategies within the TCEN Work Plan:

  • Identify opportunities and development of leadership models in Tasmania;
  • Improve capacity and provide a sustainable approach for rural and remote clinical placements for all health disciplines;
  • Strengthen training programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health service delivery;
  • Identify opportunities and development of inter-professional learning; and
  • Increase the capacity to provide clinical training and clinical places through the use of clinical training modalities.

Funding was available for a limited number of projects of up to $80 000.  Additionally, a reserved amount was made available for modest projects for up to $10 000.

The EOI closed on 7 June 2013 with twenty-five (25) applications received state-wide.  A submission review panel was formed to review all incoming applications and recommendations were endorsed by the TCEN Governance Committee.

An overview of successful Expression of Interest submissions can be viewed at:  Overview Table - Successful TCEN EOI Submissions