Clinical educators' self-reported personal and professional development after completing a short course in undergraduate clinical supervision at Stellenbosch University

Anna Maria Schmutz, Sugnet Gardner-Lubbe, Elize Archer


Background. In 2007, a Supervision Course in Undergraduate Clinical Supervision was developed at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The target group was inter-professional clinical educators that are involved in student education on the clinical platform. Although the course participants were professionals and specialists in their own fields, the majority of clinical educators have very little or no knowledge of adult education. The Supervision Course aims to develop clinical supervision skills of clinical educators by exposing these supervisors to basic principles of education and specifically clinical teaching, resulting in quality education for undergraduate students. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of this short course on the personal and professional growth of the clinical educator.

Methods. A qualitative study was performed, including an open-ended questionnaire that provided opportunity for the clinical educators to elaborate freely on their strengths, weaknesses and areas of desired improvement before and after the Supervision Course, and a semi-structured individual interview after the Supervision Course. The questionnaire data were categorised according to strengths, weaknesses and areas of desired improvement. An inductive approach was used to analyse the qualitative data. Key themes that emerged from the interviews were identified and grouped together in categories.

Results. The results are summarised in table format to identify themes with supporting quotes.

Conclusion. Although a small sample, this study demonstrates the personal and professional growth reported by attendees of a clinical supervision short course.

Authors' affiliations

Anna Maria Schmutz, Division of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, South Africa

Sugnet Gardner-Lubbe, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa

Elize Archer,

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faculty development, clinical supervision

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2013;5(1):8-13. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.194

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-10-08
Date published: 2013-04-22

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