For many full-time students at Michener’s School of Applied Health Sciences, clinical placements are the first opportunity they have to put the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, labs and simulation exercises into practice. This vital learning experience and critical career step is only made possible by some very important partners.
Every year, Michener hosts Clinical Educators’ Professional Development Day to show appreciation for these clinical educators and to support them in their education roles. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this was the first year the event was hosted virtually and the seminar sessions reflected these challenging times. While it typically has been a full-day program, the organizing team recognized keeping people online for a full day wasn’t going to provide a great experience, so they made some changes for the February event.
During the online event, Degan Davis and Stephanie Furlott from the Student Success Network presented strategies to support students and colleagues during COVID-19. Jordan Holmes, Senior Manager at the Centre for Learning, Innovation and Simulation, also hosted a workshop focused on training for clinical readiness and the impact of COVID-19.
“We were still able to recognize our clinical partners who were nominated by our students for Clinical Recognition Awards,” says Ray Nielsen, Director, Student Success Network and Clinical Education. “Although not in-person, it was still an important chance to thank everyone for the work they do to educate our students.”
On the plus side, many clinical partners who might otherwise not have been able to participate, especially those who are incredibly busy with the added clinical pressures of the pandemic, were able to attend the event. But participants still missed the ability to network and connect in-person – something the Michener community has been missing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Clinical education is essential real-world experience for our students,” says Ray. “Hosting an event like Clinical Educators’ Day allows us to recognize the efforts of our vital partners and hopefully provide some relevant professional development workshops to support the work they do.”
Without our clinical partners, Michener would not be able to offer the high quality programs that we do. Their contribution to our programs, the student experience and the healthcare system at large is invaluable.