Preparedness of clinical supervisors to supervise podiatry students in Australia: A qualitative study

Katrina Reynolds*, Michelle McLean

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Clinical supervision is critical for preparing podiatry students for clinical practice. However, little is
known about clinical supervisors’ preparedness to supervise podiatry students in clinical practice.
This exploratory qualitative study explored clinical supervisors’ perceptions of their preparedness
to supervise podiatry students in Australia, in terms of their training, challenges and suggestions
for improving supervision quality. Semi-structured interviews with 11 clinical supervisors (6
females, 5 males) were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. Watkins’ (1990)
four-stage model characterising supervisor development was used to inform analysis. Generally,
clinical supervisors did not feel adequately prepared for their supervisory role, largely because of
a lack of formal training. Challenges included the time burden of supervision, inconsistency
regarding competence assessment standards, and student-related issues such as a perceived
lack of interest. Recommendations for improving clinical supervision included a greater
understanding of students’ learning needs and more training opportunities. Clinical supervisors
were of the opinion that partnering universities were largely responsible for ensuring quality
supervision practices. As clinical supervisors generally felt unprepared to supervise, this impacted
on their self-efficacy. Greater role clarity, training and support is thus needed to ensure clinical
supervisors are adequately prepared for the role and to facilitate progression through supervisory
developmental stages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-108
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Journal of Clinical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2022


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