Teaching Matters

Presentation 3 FR2

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Teaching Matters 2018 | Presentation Details | 2018


Whole of community facilitation in nursing: Engaging students and teachers


Carey Mather, School of Health Sciences
Helen Zournazis, College of Health and Medicine
Annette Marlow, College of Health and Medicine


Excellent teaching happens by design

Presentation Type



Flexible Learning Space 2




To address the shortage of the health workforce there has been an increase of student enrolments. This has created a challenge in the capacity of healthcare environments in providing high quality professional experience placements where there are competing needs with service delivery (Health Workforce Australia, 2010). The quality of placement experiences impacts clinical capability and preparedness of students to transition into the workforce.

Student supervision is essential in reducing the tension between learning and teaching and placement service delivery. Traditionally, the nature of service delivery and size of organisations in rural areas has limited the number of students allocated for placement. To ameliorate this situation the implementation of a whole of community facilitation (WOCF) model was trialled and evaluated in four townships within two rural municipalities. The WOCF Facilitator’s role enabled diversification of student placement experiences. Facilitators collaborated with local healthcare organisations to support student learning and teaching and included rotations between community and hospital environments.

Findings of the evaluation (H0012664) affirmed WOCF support enriched the quality of student placements. This model stimulated supervisors to critically reflect on their embedded practices, enabling reciprocal learning between students and staff. It was viewed as beneficial to supervisors and students and valued by community organisations. In 2016, this innovative approach was extended to twelve rural communities and included allied health students and their supervisors. Development of capability by supporting staff in rural locations has led to interprofessional learning opportunities.


Health Workforce Australia. (2010). Clinical Supervisor Support Program -- Discussion Paper, July 2010.

Zournazis, HE and Marlow, A and Mather, C. (2018). Whole of community facilitator support model: The rural preceptors’ experience, Collegian, 25(4) ,371-375. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2017.10.001 ISSN 1322-7696.

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