Allied Health Online Education - Institute of Health Sciences
Allied Health Online Education - Institute of Health Sciences
Allied Health Online Education - Institute of Health Sciences

Clinical Sites: Fact & Myth

When asked to mentor students, many potential affiliate sites had misconceptions about their role. The following highlights some of the common "myths" as well as the "truth" about the benefits of mentoring students.

Myth: "We're too busy to be involved with students. Working with students is just more work."

Allied Health Online Education - Institute of Health Sciences

Truth: Actually, students can help reduce staff's workload by assisting with the daily tasks, paperwork, and providing extra assistance needed for patient care. In addition, as the student's skills improve, staff technicians observe and supervise and their actual testing time is decreased. Thus, staff receive the added benefit of being able to 'take a break' or work on other tasks.

Myth: "We should get extra pay to teach students; it is not part of my job."

Truth: Many facilities actively support employee mentoring. You are encouraged to check this out with your human resources department. Also, take time to tell your employees about the benefits of student rotations. Let them know how important their expertise and experience are to students and the future of the profession.

Myth: "We're concerned that our patients will be unhappy about having students in the exam room, and we fear losing business."

Truth: When patients are informed that your facility is a 'clinical teaching site', they are typically impressed and are eager to provide a learning opportunity for the student. This is common practice in teaching hospitals, clinics, physician offices, etc. The majority of your patients are aware of the value of this experience in the training of healthcare professionals.

Myth: "We don't allow any discussion or questions during the exam because it may upset the patient."

Truth: Most patients are very interested in their examination. Simply informing the patient that you will be providing student instruction during the examination will alleviate any patient concerns. In fact, most patients are often very interested in the information provided to the student because it helps them to better understand the procedure. This situation becomes a learning experience for everyone.

Myth: "I'm afraid the student will ask questions that I can't answer since I didn't attend a formal educational school."

Truth: When teaching, both students and staff learn. Students often motivate staff and provide incentive for them to sharpen their skills, review information previously learned, and keep up with the new techniques and advancements in the field. For the practicing technologists, continuing education is essential. Providing clinical instruction is one way to foster the value of continued professional development.

Myth: "All of the sleep and electroneurodiagnostic technologists in our facility need to have registry credentials in order for us to be a clinical site."

Truth: The designated clinical instructor (the individual evaluating the student) should have all the appropriate credentials for the learning concentrations the program offers. According to AASM and END Standards, each clinical site must have a minimum of a register technician on staff.

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