Orientation and role modelling are two specific teaching strategies, that when implemented effectively, can have a profound positive impact on learning. Orientating the student to the healthcare facility, the healthcare team and the creation of shared expectations, establishes a positive and supportive environment for learning and socialises the student to the workplace. Indeed, a well-planned orientation can be both effective and inspirational for students. Clinical orientation provides an opportunity to get to know students individually as well as an opportunity to establish the future working climate within the work group. Taking time to orient the learner enables the development of partnerships in learning and can save significant time and angst, particularly when compared to cases where partnerships and shared understandings are not established. It is essential that the clinical teacher take every opportunity during this critical time to establish a positive climate for learning. Ways in which to conduct orientation and establishing effective interpersonal relationships with students will be presented.
Similarly, role modelling is a powerful teaching tool for passing on the knowledge, skills, and values of a profession. Student learning from role models occurs through observation and reflection, and is a complex mix of conscious and unconscious activities. Role modelling is said to have three categories; clinical competence, teaching skills and personal qualities. Clinical competence encompasses knowledge and skills, communication with patients, staff and students, and sound clinical reasoning and decision making. A student-centred approach to teaching and learning incorporating effective communication, feedback, and opportunities for reflection is essential to effective role modelling. Personal qualities such as compassion, honesty, and integrity, and effective interpersonal relationships and professionalism are equally important. There is substantial evidence that health professional students are exposed to both good and bad role models. Ways in which to provide positive role modelling will be presented.