Involving the whole team in workplace learning
Health professions students readily identify colleagues, team members and indeed patients and their carers who have enabled them to ‘fit in’ to new settings and who have made positive contributions to their learning. In many cases these individuals are not those with a formally recognised teaching role. For example, consider how powerful patient feedback (be it direct or indirect) can be on reinforcing your practice or seeking new ways to do things.
Consider the ways in which learners learn from each other (‘I find it helpful to hold the foot like this’) and share experiences (‘saw a really interesting operation in theatre yesterday’). Consider the ways in which junior members of the team guide students or less experienced colleagues in ways of communicating with or examining patients, interpreting images or test results and prioritising workloads. Consider the role played by ward managers in helping ‘newcomers’ get to grips with ward procedures and protocols or in identifying ways to effectively work with particular team members. Acknowledge the role played by all members of your community and value it explicitly. Encourage your colleagues to be involved in giving both informal and multi-source feedback to learners. Invite them to be involved in education and training, and role model and value that learners can learn from all members of the team, not only those from their own profession. Identify the most effective and appropriate ways in which they can support learning and make these experiences explicit to learners. If you have learners from different professional groups in your workplace, consider how they might work and learn together, from one another and from different team members. For example, a radiographer might include some medical, physiotherapy and nursing students in the ultrasound tutorials he runs for radiography students.