Site Coordinators, Site Facilitators & Eden Academic Coordinators
The main purpose of the Site Facilitator job is to facilitate students’ learning and to coordinate their learning activities within a particular community site.
For the Becoming a Health Professional (BHP) course, the Site Facilitator must organise, plan and negotiate entry into sites for the purpose of students visiting communities to learn about health and the causes of ill-health and how people understand their own health.
The majority of their work relates to the MBChB 4th year Health in Context course. Their roles also extend to any undergraduate health sciences student with academic activities within the assigned community site. The job involves working both very independently and as a member of a team comprising other Site Facilitators, academics, clinicians, Site Coordinators and departmental administrators.
They play a pivotal role in the revised 4th year Health in Context course as they are integrally involved with students’ experience of community-oriented primary care (COPC). Through theoretical and experiential learning, the health of individuals and communities is explored, studied and addressed by means of the integration of clinical experience in Family Medicine, Paediatrics and Palliative Care at a primary care level. They facilitate a Public Health epidemiological project identified by stakeholders in response to a community’s prioritised health needs. They also assist in guiding students in how to use the findings of the project to inform the development of a local health promotion intervention (which students implement in collaboration with community stakeholders).
The Site Facilitator, together with the course convenor, is responsible for ensuring that projects are identified which meet both local stakeholders’ needs as well as the criteria for the course’s learning objectives and for ensuring that such projects are carried out successfully. This involves logistical planning and organising, facilitation and local supervision of students’ projects, and ensuring student safety. To play these roles effectively, the Site Facilitator must understand the research project process and how it could be implemented with any particular research project undertaken by the students. They are also responsible for ensuring access to patients for the clinical components of the course through liaison with designated facility clinicians or managers as well as confirming the availability of space for clinical work.
UCT Site Coordinators based at New Somerset Hospital, Victoria Hospital, Lentegeur Hospital as well as the Saldanha Bay Sub-District (based in Vredenburg) and the Eden District (based in George) provide logistical and administrative support to the clinical teaching and learning of MBChB students during their Medicine, Surgery, Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Family Medicine rotations. Support is also provided to the satellite community health centres including Hanover Park CHC, Gugulethu CHC, Mitchell's Plain CHC and Retreat CHC as well as the district hospitals including Mowbray Maternity Hospital and Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital.
Academic Community-Based Education and Student Coordinators
The PHC Directorate has expanded the health teaching platform particularly in the Eden District as well as other sites. The successful launch in 2016 of the Eden District clinical training platform with an increasing number of medical students taken on annually into the longitudinal programme, is a major achievement both in terms of increasing the capacity for clinical training as well as the quality and relevance of the training. Feedback from students as well as the staff who acted as teachers, trainers and examiners, continues to be extremely positive, as the environment of George and the Eden District enables a more personalised and relational learning process.
Most of the students are based at George Hospital and smaller groups spend shorter periods based at Oudtshoorn and Knysna Hospitals. Physiotherapy students are also present in the Eden District for the first time and spend rotations at George, Mossel Bay, Knysna and Oudtshoorn Hospitals. Plans are being developed to extend the platform to include Mossel Bay in 2019 and Beaufort West Hospital in 2020.
The students are supported by a full-time Site Coordinator, as well as two part-time clinicians and clinical training is also done by Western Cape Government clinicians in the hospitals. Three cleaners and a driver are also employed to assist with student accommodation and transport.