UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Effective clinical teaching for medical technologists in Canada : five case stories Tiffin, Shelley M.


Clinical practicum in authentic healthcare settings is an important part of training to become a Medical Laboratory Technologist. Research into this area has shown that the clinical educator plays a significant role in student learning during this phase. To offer a slightly different perspective, the following research sought to examine a separate aspect of clinical training: to what extent does the clinical setting itself contribute to one’s developing technical “competence”? A study was conducted exploring the extent to which clinical educators use their workplace environment (whether intentionally or not) to teach, mentor and socialize new professionals. Five educators, selected on the basis of their TPI score (Pratt & Collins, 2000) each with a different approach to teaching, were used as the basis for case analysis. Further guiding the analysis of educators’ awareness and use of context-as-teacher in the clinical practicum, the works of van Manon, Marton and Booth were used to supplement the case analyses. Examples of the systematic relationship between educator’s teaching perspective and use of context include: Social Reform used the context to encourage participatory democratic engagement; Developmental encouraged working with other members of the healthcare team to move “outside one’s comfort zone” reaching into lifelong and life-wide skill development; Apprenticeship, well represented in this study, focused on work and where work took place; Nurturing encouraged students to use less convenient rooms to adapt and perform at a high level in any surroundings; Transmission clearly separated instructional time from on-task time, allowing sufficient instruction before judging performance. The findings show that educators demonstrate different approaches to teaching; that they use context in teaching (955 documented instances); that the use of context is often related to their teaching perspective; and that there was a lack of awareness for the extent or power of context-as-teacher. They only seldomly designed learning around a healthcare setting resulting in lost opportunities to use the context in teaching. Through ongoing activities and dialogue on teaching, educators can gain an awareness of the role of context and the power of knowingly using context in teaching students in the clinical setting.

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