As a general guide, features of a ‘quality placement’ would include:
- Awareness of self as a person who is perceived to be an experienced specialist palliative care healthcare provider.
- Awareness of own capability to be cultural safe and thus culturally responsive as a mentor.
- Awareness of own presence and ability to work effectively as a mentor.
- A mentee (participant) who is prepared to work the placement with you (this will be prepared for you by the PEPA Manager in your state or territory).
- Mentoring arrangements are clearly identified prior to participant’s arrival at service.
- Participant is oriented to service upon arrival (e.g. OH&S, confidentiality, facilities etc).
- Participant’s learning goals are identified.
Activities/opportunities to achieve learning goals are identified. These may include:
- ward rounds
- hand over
- case conference/team meetings
- family meetings
- home visits
A tentative schedule is prepared that includes time for participant to observe multidisciplinary approach to care and network with staff from other disciplines working in the service. The schedule will include regular times for the mentor and participant to meet. Remember that the schedule does not need to be too rigid. Flexibility is important and enables participants to take full advantage of whatever is happening in the service at that particular time. Host sites operate differently so the schedule will vary between services and also between participants according to their individual learning goals.
This template may be helpful to you as a mentor to plan your participants placement at your facility. (Click here for the template)
Mindful mentors ensure that they are aware that mentees may need the following considerations:
- Learning is sensitive to the needs of rural and remote practitioners.
- Learning is culturally responsive for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants and participants who are from/or primarily service people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds, as applicable.
- Participant is provided with resources and directed to further sources of information if a deeper understanding is desired.
- Mentor models desirable behaviours and attitudes and ‘best practice’ in palliative care that is preferably evidence-based
- Participant is invited to join staff for meals
- ’Reflection time’ is encouraged, whereby participant can read patient records (as appropriate), policies, pamphlets, PEPA learning guide etc
- Participant is provided with an opportunity to debrief and review goals at the end of each day
- Feedback sought and provided
- Participant is provided with an opportunity to discuss their planned workplace activity (which must be implemented in their service within three months of completing a PEPA placement)
- Participant is encouraged to retain links with service and PEPA post placement and network through the PEPA online Community of Practice (CoP)
Download our mentors checklist has been drafted for you to copy and refer to as a guide during every placement.