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During placement

  • Getting the most out of your placement

    In order to get the most out of your placement at RCH, it is important to think about each of the following points:

    1. Preparation prior to commencing placement:

    • Research the organisation – have a look at the RCH website and find out more about the hospital (such as reviewing the strategic plan, researching the different departments and staff, and learning more about the different services provided) 
    • Complete all essential paperwork – including the confidentiality and privacy agreement 
    • Find out your caseload – familiarise yourself with where you will be working and the scope of health problems that you will see. This knowledge will allow you to target your study/preparation
    • Refresh your knowledge – take time to revise your notes and any aspects of paediatric care that have been covered at university (particularly relating to the health problems you may encounter

    2. While on placement:

    • Communicate with your supervisors - during your time at RCH your clinical/academic supervisors will help to provide you with a range of different learning opportunities and they will be your main contact. It is important that you speak with them if you have any concerns (such as concerns about a patient or your workload). Ask questions if you don’t understand something. Raise any concerns sooner rather than later.
    • Know your role/purpose - discuss your role and responsibilities with your clinical supervisor prior to meeting each patient and family. For example, are you there to observe your supervisor or should you contribute, such as leading part/s of the consultation etc?
    • Meeting a patient - have a good understanding of the patient’s situation and gather as much information as possible, before meeting them. For example, read the electronic medical record, speak to other professionals involved with the patient, know the names of the parents and patient, have an understanding of the child’s medical condition and consider the need for an interpreter.
    • Protect patient confidentiality and privacy - close the curtains or doors when discussing personal information with patients and families, use private spaces where required and possible.
    • Be honest - introduce yourself as a student and don't be offended if the family would prefer to work with a qualified professional. This is a teaching hospital and most of our families are aware of that. Don't feel embarrassed if you can't answer specific questions - let the patient know you will find out and then check with your clinical supervisor. Always ensure that you follow through and complete any actions that you are responsible for.
    • Be respectful - demonstrate respect and give your full attention when meeting with patients, families and other staff. Be aware of how your presentation (including nonverbal behaviours such as body language, gestures, eye contact, facial expression, and tone of voice) may be perceived by others. Show respect to hospital staff at all times, including your supervisors. Be respectful of their time, expertise and the opportunity to learn from them.

    Professional behaviour

    The following are expectations of all students training to be healthcare professionals:

    • be punctual and reliable
    • behave in a responsible, respectful and dependable manner
    • project a professional image in your manner, dress, hygiene, speech, and interpersonal relationships
    • treat everyone with respect and courtesy
    • place concern for patients above personal requirements for study and social activities
    • wear identification badges on a lanyard at all times
    • be aware that supervisors and other staff need to meet their daily work requirements in addition to providing learning opportunities for students
    • be aware of and follow the guidelines of the RCH Privacy Policy in order to protect the privacy of patient and staff information.

    RCH policies and procedures (RCH intranet only)

    • Dress code
      Students should always be dressed in clean, well-maintained clothing which provides appropriate coverage and allows for the requirements of their role.  Low-cut tops, bare midriffs and low-cut pants are not acceptable. Please refer to the  RCH dress code procedure and  RCH Infection Control Principles - Clinical Staff Attire procedure

    • Professional boundaries
      Professional boundaries are integral to the relationship between those working in the caring professions and patients, clients, families or carers.  Maintaining professional boundaries / relationships with patients who have lengthy, ongoing or frequent episodes of care can be particularly challenging in healthcare organisations like RCH which is committed to patient and family-centred care. Please refer to the RCH Professional Boundaries procedure

    • Social media
      Students and staff should not mention RCH or detail anything about their work, their placement or communicate with patients or their families using social media. Please refer to the RCH Social Media procedure 

    • Documentation: Medical records

      While students are encouraged to document encounters in medical records, all entries should be countersigned by their supervisor.  Students should only access medical records for those patients whose medical care they are directly involved with. Please refer to RCH Documentation procedure

    • Confidentiality
      RCH is committed to protecting the privacy of patient and staff information. The hospital is required by law to protect personal information and comply with the Health Records Act 2001 and other relevant legislation relating to confidentiality and privacy.  This legislation applies to all staff, including contractors, volunteers and students.   Any person commencing work at the RCH must sign the Privacy, Confidentiality and Security agreement ( see section on essential paperwork) and be aware of their roles and responsibilities in terms of patient and employee confidentiality.  Please refer to the RCH Confidentiality policy

    • Internet
      Computers and the internet at RCH should be used for activities directly related to a student's clinical placement and patient care. Please refer to the RCH Internet usage procedure.  

    • Media
      Students and staff at RCH should not under any circumstances speak with the media in any capacity. Please refer to the RCH Media Protocol procedure

    • Mobile telephones
      Mobile phones can interfere with vital hospital equipment, so you will be asked to turn off your phone when entering all ward areas, including the Emergency Department. Should you need to use your phone, ask staff for an area where you can do this. Mobiles should be on silent in clinical areas and if left in office areas.

    • Manual handling 
      Manual handling of people and materials can result in injury, illness or disease if not undertaken in a safe way. It is important that all manual handling risks are identified, assessed and controlled, and safe handling techniques are used. Please refer to the RCH Manual handling procedure.

    • Workplace health, safety and wellbeing
      The RCH is committed to the provision of a safe and healthy work environment for all. Please refer to the RCH Workplace health, safety (WHS) and wellbeing policy.  The RCH ‘ Workplace Health and Safety Local Induction Checklist (Student Version)’ should be completed by all students in discussion with their clinical supervisor on the first day of their clinical placement at RCH. This form needs to be signed by each student and their supervisor on the first day and a copy of the form is kept by the RCH department.

    Emergency procedures 

    All of the RCH procedures are listed on the back of staff and student lanyards. Further details about the different procedure types are provided on the emergency procedures page of the RCH intranet.

    Around the RCH

    If you have been set up with the RCH Learning Management System, Learning HERO, you can access the "Getting around The Royal Children's Hospital for new clinical staff" video to familiarise yourself with the different areas in the hospital.