9. Practicalities of a Coaching Placement

The coaching approach in some areas works by increased student numbers, which means the off-duty has been planned specially to ensure sufficient numbers of student are on each shift. 

Placement request should only be essential shift changes with plenty prior notice, this request should be made to the nurse in charge. You will be encouraged to swap shifts with your colleagues rather than leave the learning area short or have too many students on shift to allow them all to participate in learning.

Midwifery class in the Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre. Induction of Labour Skills day with lecturer Kathryn Hardie

Support in Placement

You will be allocated a named Practice Assessor who will be responsible for assessing your overall performance and competency whilst on placement. You will be allocated to a Practice Supervisor on each shift. The Practice Supervisor and the allocated patient caseload should be clearly identified so that students, patients and the ward team are aware.

The Practice Supervisor has overall responsibility for the patient caseload and should not have any additional patient caseload or responsibilities. The Practice Supervisor should oversee and facilitate the practice of their 1-3 students using a coaching approach. The learners should work together using peer support to plan, prioritise, delegate, perform and evaluate all care to this group of patients under careful supervision.


Supernumerary Status

You are still supernumerary in a coaching practice area and the practice supervisor/assessor and the wider clinical team are still involved in the direct care for the client/patient group you are being coached to care for. 

Coaching during the Shift

At the beginning of each shift, the Practice Supervisor should have a ‘coaching conversation’ with the learners – a plan for the day should be made to ensure everyone is aware of their role/responsibilities for the day and each student should identify their learning needs and objectives for the shift.

Throughout the day the Practice Supervisor should be visible and supportive and should regularly catch up with the students. Towards the end of the shift the Practice Supervisor should feedback to the students on their progress that day. The learners can still be encouraged to follow a patient’s journey or spend time with a relevant specialty, but they must ensure that their case load is managed appropriately using skills such as delegation and time management.

Each shift a student will be nominated to be the lead for the care of the patients. The lead student will use their skills in delegation, time management and prioritisation. 

Daily Learning Log: You should complete a daily learning log to support your final assessment and learning goals. You will be given time to complete this. The Practice Supervisor should provide feedback and sign this form. 

Example of daily learning log

One hour of learning time: You will be offered an hour of learning time on each shift at an appropriate time of the day, which should be negotiated between the Practice Supervisor and the team of students. It is important that the needs of the patients are considered when planning this, so it may not be possible for all students to go at the same time. More senior students could be involved in planning this.


10 - Coaching Feedback