Barriers and enablers to clinical fieldwork education in rural public and private allied health practice

Phoebe Maloney, Karen Stagnitti, Adrianus Schoo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    There is a need to maximise rural clinical fieldwork placement to build health workforce capacity. This study investigated allied health professionals' (AHPs) experience of supervising students as part of work-integrated learning in public and private rural health settings. An anonymous postal questionnaire with 30 questions was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data about the barriers and enablers that AHPs encounter when supervising students in their clinical setting. A total of 113 public and private AHPs from Southwest Victoria, Australia, returned the questionnaire. The AHPs were trained in the disciplines of occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech pathology, dietetics, podiatry or psychology. The majority of respondents (75%) had previously supervised students. Most respondents had only provided fieldwork education in the public sector. Allied health professionals working in public and private sectors had positive experiences with clinical fieldwork education and often had increased job satisfaction while supervising students. They experienced similar enablers to involvement in clinical fieldwork education programs, however the barriers they encountered were different. The findings highlight the differing issues between rural public and private settings that need to be addressed for successful clinical fieldwork education and work-integrated learning. Strategies to address the identified barriers need to be specific to the work conditions of each setting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)420-435
    Number of pages16
    JournalHigher Education Research and Development (HERDSA)
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


    • clinical fieldwork education
    • clinical fieldwork placement
    • public and private sectors
    • rural allied health
    • student supervision
    • work-integrated learning


    Dive into the research topics of 'Barriers and enablers to clinical fieldwork education in rural public and private allied health practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this