Being a Supervisee – What do you Need to Know?

Being a Supervisee – What do you Need to Know?

Clinical supervision is a highly beneficial aspect of professional development in healthcare practice, providing a secure and supportive space for growth, learning, and self-reflection. If you are interested in clinical supervision but are unsure of what to expect and what the role of a supervisee entails, you're in the right place! The Australian Clinical Supervision Association wants you to have all the information required to effectively engage in clinical supervision We've compiled a list of important things you should know for professional growth. Learn more below!

Being a Supervisee – What Do You Need to Know? | Australian Clinical Supervision Association

Supervision comes in many forms.

Supervision comes in many forms, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of supervisees. One-on-one supervision provides an intimate and personalised setting, where the supervisee receives focused attention, tailored feedback, and individualised support from an experienced clinical supervisor. Peer group supervision, on the other hand, fosters connection among peers, encouraging collaboration, shared learning experiences, and the opportunity to gain insights from different perspectives. For some, a combination of one-on-one and peer group supervision is a perfect balance, offering the benefits of both personalised guidance and collective insight.

The rise of technology has also led to online supervision, removing geographical barriers and allowing supervisees to engage with their clinical supervisors virtually. Modes of online supervision may include calls, video calls, or emails. Alternatively, face-to-face supervision maintains the traditional approach, and in-person interactions can facilitate greater connection and understanding of nonverbal cues. The combination of online and face-to-face supervision appeals to those seeking flexibility while valuing the benefits of face-to-face discussion.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of each form depends on the supervisee's preferences, learning style, and specific needs. By evaluating these options, you can choose the clinical supervision format that best aligns with your goals and aspirations, ensuring an enriching journey of professional growth.

Clinical supervisors are diverse, with different approaches, goals, and priorities.

When commencing your practice supervision journey, it is essential to consider what you are looking for in a supervisor. Some supervisors may adopt a more directive style, providing clear instructions and structured feedback, while others may adopt a more collaborative approach, encouraging self-reflection and empowering the supervisee to take ownership of their learning journey. Additionally, clinical supervisors may have varying goals, such as enhancing specific clinical skills, promoting self-awareness, or fostering a deeper understanding of theoretical frameworks.

Prioritising your goals and aspirations as a clinician will guide you in finding a clinical supervisor whose expertise aligns with your needs. You should specifically look for a clinical supervisor with experience in your profession or healthcare field. Remember that the supervisory relationship is a partnership built on trust and mutual respect, and finding a supervisor who resonates with your values and facilitates a supportive and growth-oriented environment can significantly enhance the transformative potential of the supervision process.

Numerous venue options are available, and this can impact supervision results.

While conducting practice supervision within one's workplace is a common practice, there are extensive benefits to exploring venues outside of this familiar environment. Opting for an external venue allows the clinical supervisor and supervisee to immerse themselves fully in the supervisory process without interruptions or pressures from regular duties. Additionally, an external venue can create a more relaxed and open atmosphere, promoting honest discussions and reflective conversations.

Choose a meeting length and frequency to suit your needs and availability.

When engaging in clinical supervision, it is essential to choose a meeting length and frequency that aligns with your needs and availability. For some, weekly sessions may be necessary for ongoing support and skill development, while others may benefit from bi-weekly or monthly meetings to allow for more independent practice between sessions. The length of each session should be sufficient to cover pertinent topics thoroughly. Opting for sessions with ample time allows for in-depth discussions, deeper exploration of challenges, and comprehensive feedback.

Supervision usually begins with an agreement or contract.

An agreement or contract in clinical supervision is a formal written document that outlines the terms and expectations of the supervisory relationship. This serves as a foundational framework that creates the context for productive supervision.

Agreements or contracts are implemented to:

  • Help establish clear boundaries, defining the roles and responsibilities of the supervisor and supervisee.
  • Describe the specific supervision needs of the supervisee, allowing the clinical supervisor to tailor their guidance and support accordingly.
  • Identify the hopes and goals for the supervisory relationship, ensuring that both parties are aligned in their aspirations for the supervisee's growth and development.
  • Relay logistical details, such as the frequency, duration, and venue of the supervision sessions, providing a structured approach to the learning process.
  • Ensure that both parties understand confidentiality agreements to handle sensitive information appropriately.
  • Emphasise accountability, holding the supervisor and supervisee responsible for their commitments and contributions to the supervisory process.

By formalising these aspects in an agreement or contract, clinical supervision can progress smoothly, creating a solid foundation for a dynamic and enriching professional journey.

Be willing to engage in effective communication and two-way feedback.

A key factor for a successful clinical supervision experience is communication. As a supervisee, you will engage in open and honest dialogue with your clinical supervisor, and both parties will actively exchange thoughts, experiences, and reflections.

Your supervisor will provide insights into your practice for self-awareness and continuous self-improvement, and you will be expected to give feedback to your supervisor for refined mentoring.

By embracing effective communication and two-way feedback, practice supervision becomes a dynamic and enriching experience that drives professional development.

Clinical supervision involves personal reflection.

Through this introspective practice, you will delve deep into your thoughts, emotions, and experiences, seeking to further understand your healthcare practice. Engaging in personal reflection allows you to examine clinical decisions, techniques, and the impact of interventions on patients. You will be expected to engage in a critical examination of your own beliefs, biases, and assumptions, fostering a heightened level of self-awareness. This self-awareness empowers supervisees to identify areas for growth and development, making it a powerful tool for enhancing clinical skills and cultivating empathetic, culturally sensitive, and ethical practices.

Your clinical supervisor may observe your practice and model appropriate behaviour as part of supervision.

The supervisor can gain valuable insights into your clinical skills, interpersonal dynamics, and professional conduct through direct observation of your practice. This allows the clinical supervisor to provide targeted, constructive feedback tailored to your strengths and areas for improvement. The supervisor may also model proper conduct, enhancing the supervisee's clinical skills and instilling a sense of professional identity and confidence.

Supervision is a non-judgmental space for you to grow professionally and develop a positive relationship with your supervisor.

Within this safe and supportive environment, you can freely explore your clinical practice, share your experiences, and discuss challenges without criticism. Your supervisor serves as a mentor and guide, offering constructive feedback, tailored guidance, and valuable insights to nurture your development as a health professional. This fosters trust, respect, and empathy, creating a foundation for a positive and productive supervisory relationship. Embracing this ethos of non-judgment, you can confidently journey towards skill enhancement and personal growth, ultimately becoming a more confident, competent, and compassionate practitioner in the healthcare field.

The Australian Clinical Supervision Association is excited that you are considering clinical supervision for professional development. For more information about how clinical supervision can benefit your practice or what to expect as a supervisee, please contact our friendly ACSA team today.