Placements program to help undergraduate healthcare professionals

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The Marian Centre’s Confident Placements Program helps undergraduate healthcare professionals in nursing, midwifery, OT, para-medicine and psychology to feel more confident in their practical placements

The Confident Placements Program is a Mental Health Commission funded educational initiative, which enables undergraduate healthcare professionals in nursing, midwifery, OT, para-medicine and psychology to feel more confident in their practical placements.

The program also caters for postgraduate nurses from a range of general healthcare settings, with the aim to complement their current professional knowledge by incorporating mental health awareness and best practice approaches.

The program provides both groups of participants the opportunity to develop fundamental knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to their current or future patients experiencing mental health issues and is facilitated by a mental health clinical nurse specialist and a mental health occupational therapist.

Topics covered in each session include mental health issues and concerns; related stigma; communication styles and techniques including verbal de-escalation; psychological and pharmacological treatments incorporating ECT; risk assessments; the Mental Health Act and recovery, using the Tidal Model as our main focus point. The program is delivered on site at the Marian Centre, using tools such as Power Point presentations, role plays, videos, games and discussions that promote an interactive learning experience.

Since the initial intake of students in March 2011, 536 participants have attended the program and their participation and feedback have been the driving force of the success and continued development of the program.

All participants are encouraged to provide feedback through a structured questionnaire and the results are evaluated closely. The feedback highlights:

  • 82% of participants would consider a future career in mental health following the completion of the program
  • 98% of participants highlighted that the program increased their confidence in working in a mental health setting
  • 100% of participants stating that the program has increased their awareness of health and safety in a mental health setting

The program has received overwhelming support from many educational providers and healthcare industries throughout WA. The initial collaboration and participation of all five WA Universities and external organisations such as ARAFMI, remain firmly in place.

In addition, the program was host to six international nursing students in August 2013 following recommendation from the University of Western Australia. This visit was the students first exposure to mental health and the Marian Centre was proud to have facilitated this learning opportunity.

The ongoing success of the program led to the facilitators being nominated for the category of Excellence in Clinical Facilitation at the Inaugural WA Clinical Supervision Awards held in September 2013.

All involved in the program strive to continue this hugely successful and beneficial experience for many more healthcare professionals with endless possibilities to expand into further directions in the future.

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