Practice educator perspectives of multiple mentoring in diverse clinical settings

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Introduction: In a climate of overloaded health systems and limited opportunities for practice education, there is a need to provide high quality placements that prepare students adequately for contemporary practice. Group models of supervision are one way to address this. This study trialled a multiple mentoring (group supervision) model across three different settings: a university clinic, an acute hospital and a community-based service. The perceptions of practice educators regarding its use and essential implementation features of the model were explored.

Method: The model was trialled over an 18-month period. A total of 15 practice educators participated in three focus groups.

Findings: Following inductive analysis, three main themes emerged: being clear in the chaos; qualities of the service and people; and challenges and benefits. Findings indicated a range of factors that influenced practice educators' experiences, including the structure of the placement, communication processes and the organisational context.

Conclusion: A multiple mentoring model of student supervision can be implemented across a range of practice settings, providing that care is taken to tailor the practicum for each setting. Practice educators perceived that the benefits to themselves, the students, the service and the clients outweighed the challenges.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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