Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Clinical Supervision of Healthcare Students in Rural Settings: A Qualitative Study

Article


Martin, Priya, Lizarondo, Lucylynn, Argus, Geoff, Kumar, Saravana and Kondalsamy-Chennakesavan, Srinivas. 2022. "Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Clinical Supervision of Healthcare Students in Rural Settings: A Qualitative Study." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 19 (9). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095555
Article Title

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Clinical Supervision of Healthcare Students in Rural Settings: A Qualitative Study

ERA Journal ID44293
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMartin, Priya, Lizarondo, Lucylynn, Argus, Geoff, Kumar, Saravana and Kondalsamy-Chennakesavan, Srinivas
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Journal Citation19 (9)
Article Number5555
Number of Pages13
Year2022
PublisherMDPI AG
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISSN1660-4601
1661-7827
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095555
Web Address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/9/5555
Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to healthcare student placements worldwide, including already challenged rural areas in Australia. While accounts are emerging of student experiences in larger centers and from a student perspective, there is a need for in-depth exploration of student supervisor experiences in rural areas at the onset of the pandemic. This study aims to address this gap through 23 individual, semi-structured interviews with healthcare workers from ten health professions who were either direct student supervisors or in roles supporting student supervisors A reflexive thematic analysis approach was used to develop four themes, namely compounding stress, negative impacts on student learning, opportunity to flex and innovate, and targeted transitioning support strategies. The findings indicate that healthcare workers with student supervision responsibilities at the onset of the pandemic experienced high levels of stress and wellbeing concerns. This study sheds light on the importance of supporting student supervisors in rural areas, and the need for implementing targeted support strategies for new graduates whose placements were impacted by the pandemic. This is not only essential for supporting the rural healthcare workforce but is also imperative for addressing inequalities to healthcare access experienced in rural communities.

KeywordsCOVID-19 pandemic; student placements; clinical supervision; rural health
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
Darling Downs Health, Australia
University of Adelaide
School of Psychology and Wellbeing
University of South Australia
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