Safety and wellbeing
One of the greatest risks for remote supervision is the isolation. In addition to being a clinical risk, it is also a personal and social risk. A registrar who is feeling isolated is more likely to become stressed, overwhelmed and burnt out.
As well as support from the remote supervisor, the onsite team, the practice and the community, the RACGP will ensure there are adequate support and safety-net structures around the registrar when they are working remotely from their supervisor. A peer group of other registrars who are remotely supervised will give opportunities for debriefing and a discussion of challenges and how they have been addressed in different contexts.
Other supports and resources include:
- regular meeting with the RACGP local training coordinator
- community of practice with other remotely supervised/local registrars (eg special interest groups, peer support groups, formal ‘buddy’ arrangements)
- cultural support through the RACGP and cultural mentors
- RACGP White Book, 5th edition – Chapter 8: The doctor and the importance of self-care
- Hand-n-Hand – a peer support service for health professionals in Australia and New Zealand.
Prior to starting their remote supervision placement, the registrar will be supported by the RACGP to address gaps identified in the CRSPP, or to facilitate specific training to meet the needs of the training site community. Training needs may include:
- basic radiography
- ultrasound training
- emergency skills
- chronic disease management
- palliative care
- drug and alcohol skills
- education in local illness profiles, such as hepatitis B.
The registrar will be required to have sufficient skills to effectively engage with their supervisor remotely. Professional development should include:
- effective use of technology
- clinical photography
- how to develop and maintain an effective education alliance.
Remotely supervised registrars are encouraged to undertake self-directed learning and engage in a community of practice with other registrars to facilitate peer learning. Professional development relevant to working in rural and remote areas is encouraged and includes:
- public health knowledge and skills
- development of leadership, advocacy and interprofessional skills.
Useful clinical resources for remotely supervisor registrars include: