Exploring student fitness to practice with allied health clinical educators

Melanie Farlie, Joanne Thorpe, Kristin Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Purpose: This research project aimed to 1) evaluate if a brief interprofessional education workshop changed the knowledge of supports and confidence of allied health clinical educators to manage student fitness to practise (FTP) issues that arise on clinical placement, 2) elucidate allied health clinical educators’ personal experiences with student FTP issues and 3) explore allied health clinical educators’ recommendations of strategies to use when supporting students on clinical placement.
Methodology: Allied health clinical educators attended a one-and-a-half-hour workshop on student FTP. The participants identified strategies to identify and manage student FTP issues on clinical placements and completed pre- and post-workshop questionnaires. Quantitative and qualitative data were analysed with independent t-tests, content and thematic analyses, respectively.
Findings: Forty-six clinical educators from nine professions participated. The participants initially lacked confidence and identified a need for training to help them support students with FTP issues. On reflection, the participants identified numerous strategies to support students with additional learning needs, and their confidence increased following the workshop.
Discussion: A brief, facilitated workshop had an immediate effect on the clinical educators’ confidence in defining FTP and their knowledge of available supports. The participants offered several experience-informed insights and recommendations that build on a similar study of physiotherapy clinical educators.
Conclusion: A brief education workshop with an interprofessional group of allied health clinical educators elucidated various important strategies to consider when supporting students with FTP issues in the clinical setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-59
Number of pages21
JournalHealth Education in Practice: Journal of Research for Professional Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2020


  • clinical education
  • fitness to practise
  • Allied Health
  • Interprofessional education

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