5:1 student : educator ratio in MSK

At Evesham community hospital the MSK Physiotherapy Outpatients department has successfully implemented a 5:1 student model.

Lead Practice Educator Gordon Smith with a full cohort of 5 students

Supervision was spread around the team, with a total of eight colleagues supporting the students at different times throughout this placement. This enabled students to work collaboratively to develop their clinical reasoning skills and take control of patient appointments.

In order to ensure that the workload was manageable, supervising clinicians had their own clinics suspended at the times they were supervising the students. This meant that during this session, they did not need to balance student needs with the patient workload, but could focus solely on the student clinic list, providing support as necessary.

Students benefit from input from a number of educators

Staff commented:

“It is busy on the day of supervision but I feel this has been managed well and it’s lovely to see students support each other.”

Practice Educator

“Students were able to support each other, training in groups enabled creativity and openness of ideas. Easy to train in a group and do practicals. Also great for peer learning and observing each other.”

Practice Educator

“Everyone, including the students, was very clear on who was supervising them throughout each day and there were no nasty surprises or bottlenecks.

Practice Educator
Teams included students from different year groups

Students commented:

“I enjoyed working closely with other students to discuss and manage patient case-loads. This enabled us to develop our clinical reasoning and problem solving skills, without constantly relying on the support from clinical educators. Although this was initially daunting, overall it was effective in the development of my confidence and independence.”

3rd year student

“I enjoyed working with 3rd years because it gave me an insight on the standard/knowledge/expectations my Practice Educator/university has for 3rd years.”

2nd year student
The placement model helped to support a placement deficit during Covid-19

Whilst on placements students have supported the wider service by being involved in the following projects:

  • Updated literature search and interview with researcher re STarTBack
  • Screening process for seeing COVID-19 patients face to face
  • Career promotional events, both on-line and at schools
  • Promotional videos
Gordon with two of the students preparing to deliver a promotional event

This model was presented at PhysiotherapyUk 2021.

For more information please contact: Gordon Smith on: Gordon.smith10@nhs.net

Leave a Comment