The First Clinical Experience:

Easing the Transition from Classroom to Clinic

“…[first time] supervisees need to feel they are an integral part of the clinical program…they are often new to a facility and feel adrift.” (Dowling, p. 158)

Ideas for the Clinical Educator:

  • provide an orientation to the agency and to the practicum
  • discuss the agency philosophy & mission and how the student fits into this and contributes to this mission
  • give the student a tour of the agency and introduce her to staff
  • develop a Student Orientation Guide that covers information about the agency lists staff and their roles, describes procedures the student needs to follow, types of experiences the student will gain etc.
  • think about what makes you comfortable and included in new situations – chances are the same things will help your student

“…trainees need to feel valued and respected, and to perceive that they are integral members of the clinical service team.” (Dowling, p. 158)

What strategies do you find work well ? Let us know


Dowling, S. (2001). Supervision: Strategies for Successful Outcomes and Productivity. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.