Clinical placement occurs in the professional workplace. As a clinical student you are provided access to that workplace on the condition that you demonstrate behaviours and attributes of a healthcare professional and present a positive image to the clinical facility's staff and clients. As a student in the medical sonographer profession in Australia, you are also required to be working toward consistent compliance with the Code of Conduct for Medical Sonographers.
Clinical sites mention professional behaviour, particularly team work and empathy, as paramount in their decision to employ a sonographer. This assessment considers your ability to communicate professionally with a diverse cultural audience of patients, staff and the general public, demonstrate professional respect for all, and function as a reliable, well organised member of the health team.
Your clinical supervisor, or delegate, will be working in the sonography area with you, directly observing your day-to-day performance, and/or obtaining feedback from supervising sonographers who are doing so. These observations and collected feedback relate to your demonstrated knowledge, skills and behaviours over a span of time, not limited to a particular scan type or patient case. The observations and feedback are then used to complete the Global Assessment of Professional Attributes (GAPA) form provided.
There are three main sections to the GAPA form:
Section 1: initiative and communication
Section 2: responsibility and demeanour
Section 3: overall technical knowledge and skill
In each section there are multiple observable behaviours that you are required to demonstrate throughout your placement. Your assessor will score your performance based on how frequently and to what extent you demonstrate each of the listed behaviours.Your assessor is also encouraged to provide comments to expand on the scoring feedback.
This assessment occurs twice during the placement. The first occurs at the mid-placement point, at the end of Week 9. The mid-placement GAPA assessment is formative, meaning its function is to provide you and your unit coordinator with formal documented feedback on your performance, but there are no minimum required scores related to your final grade. You are expected to use that feedback to reflect on your performance, develop an action plan to address any areas of performance that are not yet at the target level for this placement, and use the remaining weeks to achieve those targets. For any behaviour that you score well on at the mid-placement assessment, it is expected that you will continue to meet that level of performance or surpass it for the rest of the placement.
The second GAPA assessment occurs toward the end of Week 19, the final week of the placement. The end-of-placement GAPA assessment is summative, in that its primary use is to evaluate and document your performance relative to the stated performance targets. The minimum required scores are listed in the Assessment Criteria section below. Your final overall grade in this assessment depends on where you stand relative to those performance targets. As this placement is the third of four in the course, you should use this end-of-placement assessment as formative as well, to inform your plans for improvement in your final placement.
Click this link to access the Global Assessment of Professional Attributes form and marking criteria. This form is also available in the assessment block in the unit Moodle site. A copy has been emailed to your clinical site but it is advisable to provide a printed copy to your clinical supervisor at the commencement of your placement. Please print this form and read it carefully so you understand the criteria against which your professional behaviour will be evaluated.
Your clinical supervisor (or designated assessor) will meet with you after completing each assessment to discuss it with you. This is your opportunity to get clarification on any score or comment on the assessment. Once you have had that discussion, you both need to sign and date the assessment. You should complete a brief summary of the discussion. You need to ensure that each completed assessment form has all required documentation, including the name, dated signature and registration number of your assessor as well as your dated signature. Your supervisor will provide you with a copy of the completed assessment form. You will then scan it and upload the file into the unit Moodle site using the link provided.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you remind your clinical supervisor at least a week prior to the assessment that it needs to be done, and book a meeting with him/her toward the end of the week that the assessment is due.This gives your supervisor the opportunity to collect feedback and to designate an alternate assessor if he/she will not be available.
If there are extenuating circumstances at the clinical facility that prevent you from being assessed during the required weeks, you must contact the unit coordinator in a timely manner. This will require obtaining approval for an assessment extension. It is also your responsibility to ensure regular access to the technology needed to upload your assessment by the submission due dates. In the absence of an approved assessment extension, if you have not met all of the requirements listed in the Assessment Criteria section by the stated due dates, you will fail this assessment, and because this is a pass/fail course that means you will receive a Fail grade for the unit.
On occasion, clinical sites inform us of student behaviours which either:
Compromise the reputation of the clinical site and/or the University,
Compromise patient / staff safety and/or well-being.
In these instances students are notified that they must cease attendance at the clinical site and discuss their position with the unit coordinator and discipline lead. This may result in student behavioural misconduct procedures in line with the CQUniversity Student Behavioural Misconduct Procedure.