Educating the educators is the ethos of a new course run for health and social care professionals by the University of Winchester.
On Wednesday the University staged a special event to celebrate the achievements of the first cohort to receive the PG Certificate in Practice Education.
The year-long, online course is aimed at nurses, midwives, social workers and allied health professions (AHP)* who wish to become qualified practice educators.
Practice educators support traditional health and social care students when they go on work placements.
All students studying Nursing, Physiotherapy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Social Work and Occupational Therapy at the University of Winchester are sent on a work placement where they are supervised by a practice educator.
Tai Frater, Programme Leader, says “Our PG Cert Practice Education students are leading the way in placement innovation and improving quality of placements for health and social care students. We are delighted to have this opportunity to celebrate them and showcase their work.”
The programme is delivered flexibly, with significant opportunities for application, on-the-job learning and is applicable to professionals working across a range of health, social work and education settings.
Justine Clements, Business Development Manager at the University’s Faculty of Health and Wellbeing said: “If we can better skilled practice educator that means a better learning environment for our students, so this is of mutual benefit.”
At present those taking the course have been from the Hampshire area but as the course is based on distance learning, Justine said she was hoping to open it out to healthcare professionals from all over the UK.
The Practice Education Celebration event, held at the University’s West Downs Centre, featured academic poster presentations of the first cohort’s course projects.
Guest speakers included Beverley Harden, Deputy Chief AHP Officer Health Education England, who gave a presentation entitled on “The Value of Practice Education within the Bigger Picture”.
Beverley told the gathering at the University’s West Down Centre: “We have woken up to educating people in the workplace so we can look after patients better.
“The PG Certificate course here at Winchester is leading the way in creating a firm foundation for our educators. You are looking after our next generation.”
One of the first cohort, Trudi McDowal, who works as a physiotherapist for the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), said the course had been a great help to her and in turn her students.
“It has made me more aware of the different ways people learn and to adapt to that.
“I led my students through a project and I would have never considered doing that before. I asked them to improve social media within therapies and they did a great job.”
Pooja Rabheru, a paramedic who is now Clinical Education Improvement Fellow with Health Education England, said: “The course has given me a lovely connection with a group of inspiring people. It has helped me put my ideas into action and see the bigger impact they can make.”
The event also showcased new eLearning Training package created for all practice educators by the University. The free on-line resource was commissioned by Health Education England.
Poster presenters at the event were Laura Aro, Steph Clark, Alia Gomez, Kizzy Long, Jo May, Trudi McDowall, Catriona Mills, Emma Neal, Harriet Pattison, Pooja Rabheru, Hannah Rhodes, Jill Summers and Samantha Wright.
All attending the event had the chance to vote for the best poster on display and the winner was Emma Neal, a Consultant Nurse at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.
*The 14 AHPs are art therapists, drama therapists, music therapists, podiatrists, dietitians, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, osteopaths, paramedics, physiotherapists, prosthetists and orthotists, radiographers, speech and language therapists.
The eLearning training package can be found at HEE eLearning Training package for Practice Educators