Internship supervisors ‘learn’ to teach

Supervisor conference
Appearing at the conference, from left: Pam Orzeck, Ph.D. Assistant Professor and Field Education Director, McGill University School of Social Work; invited guest speaker Marion Bogo, Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto; and Kevin Hayes.

Supervisors who are responsible for teaching students can also benefit from training in how best to fulfill that vital role, as they recently learned at a conference on best practices in clinical supervision.

“The internship process is an essential part of a student’s professional development,” says Kevin Hayes, who organized the event in his former role as the Associate Director of Academic Affairs, responsible for Education and Operations. “How do we teach students to become better professionals? That goes well beyond learning the fundamentals of their discipline—it’s about practicing in your field ethically and with integrity.”

Supervisors play a formative role by passing along their own experience, explains Mr. Hayes. He points to the supportive relationship that they nurture with a student, which helps instill confidence and a sense of security. They offer opportunities for the student to contribute to the well-being of healthcare users, as well as astute feedback, which are instrumental in helping the student improve and grow. Ultimately, says Mr. Hayes, supervisors are the link between the more abstract concepts that students learn in school and their integration of this knowledge and skill as they practice in their field.

The keynote presentation at the Academic Affairs conference was delivered by field education specialist Marion Bogo from the University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.

“Our supervisors are doing exceptional work across all disciplines in our CIUSSS,” notes Mr. Hayes. “They are contributing to the continuity of excellence in patient care as they guide a new generation of practitioners who join their ranks.”

*in partnership with the McGill University Department of Social Work