Shared placements

A shared placement can be defined as a placement where multiple supervisors share the responsibility of supervising a student on a clinical placement. It may also be known as multiple mentoring or a collaborative placement.

A shared placement may occur across different organisations such as a local hospital and an Aboriginal medical service. These placements can also be arranged between different private practices or assigned to two different sites within the same organisation.

To create a valuable learning experience for you and the host site, the Three Rivers Shared Placement Model focuses on collaboration and shared responsibility.


  • Exposure to diverse aspects of a profession
  • Exposure to different styles of practice
  • Learning from multiple mentors/supervisors
  • Experience varied caseloads within one placement
  • Opportunity to practice clinical reasoning, critical thinking and reflection
  • Practise advanced communication skills by working with multiple supervisors/services.

Placement structure

This is decided in consultation with the supervisors and the academic workplace learning coordinator. The Three Rivers’ clinical educator will also facilitate these discussions and support you.

Case study

A second-year physiotherapy student undertook a two-week placement in a small, rural town located 30 minutes from a regional centre. The student had not previously completed a rural placement and was encouraged to research the area before arriving. Three Rivers provided support through subsidised accommodation, and the placement was shared between two private physiotherapy practices. Both practices had a different focus, one being more acute and the other more chronic. This provided the student with a diverse learning opportunity, and she reported being pleasantly surprised by the opportunities and aspects afforded by the different practices such as home visits, aged care visits, one on one appointments and group sessions.

The student had a roster with daily allocation but needed to be flexible as allocation could change with short notice. The flexible nature of the placement required excellent communication skills between the student and the supervisors and mutual respect. The team shared a collaborative relationship to provide continuity of care to the patients. It provided the student with the opportunity to practise and observe a variety of clinical skills. At the end of the placement, the physio student stated she really enjoyed her time and would recommend it to others.

Great experience. Not bored at any time. Private practice and gave time to let me treat patients, was hands-on in both practices. Ideal for a second-year prac, not as intense as big metro hospitals. Better than other practice type placements.
Different client loads and presenting problems. Treated them so differently as they know them as only 2000 people in the town, more personable interaction and know them and their problems.

Free open learning modules

We offer free online modules to get you ready for your placement.

Rural Clinical Placements – Your journey starts here

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