The Homeopathy Clinic
Our Homeopathy college prides itself on running a busy video teaching clinic. Patients may attend through their own volition or be referred by GPs. We ask the patients to make a contribution to charity. Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy provides the medications free of charge. The clinic is an exciting project because it provides treatment for those who cannot afford to see a homeopath privately. It also provides students with a high standard of practical training.
Overall, the clinical experience we provide for our students is exciting, stimulating and is a well-constructed bridge between the world of theory and the world of practice. It provides a solidly supportive stepping stone for students so that they can feel confident, safe and competent to practise once they leave the college.
Dion Tabrett is one of the clinicians involved in supervising the students who are working in the active clinic. He describes the benefits.
"The thing I love about running the teaching clinic is that unlike private practice where you see the patients generally get better and better, I also see the students get better and better. It's great to see their confidence grow from that early stage where they feel "Iím not sure I can do this", to the last few months where they see that they must be able to, because the patient is getting better. The clinic is the supreme test for myself and students alike. Whatever you think you have observed, however clever you are in analysing the case, there is the acid test of the patient recovering or not. Fortunately to date we have done very well".
By the time the students graduate from the college they will have had over 100 hours clinical experience. Students take cases in a small consulting room with a live video link. This is transmitted to the rest of the student group and the clinical supervisor. The case is discussed and an appropriate prescription given. The patient returns a month later for an assessment of how they have responded to the treatment. This approach means that students gain experience of case -taking, analyis of cases and repertorisation. The teaching clinic is designed to replicate as far as is possible 'real- life' practice. This ensures a smooth transition from student as participant in the college clinic to fully- fledged practitioner running their own homeopathic practice.
On average, students will observe and be actively involved in treating 8-10 patients on a college teaching clinic day.
In their final year, students have to submit 5 cases that they themselves have taken. These cases consist of the intial case taken, and at least two 'follow-ups'. Before any prescription is given the student must consult an approved college supervisor at a one- to- one tutorial session. This allows a more individual approach for the student than is possible at the busy college teaching clinic. More importantly, this part of the course encourages the students to 'network' and to start builiding their own Practice.
Jacki Becker, one of the lecturers at the college, says:
'I love the atmosphere at the college especially the range of ages and experience of the students and the amazing skills they bring with them. In supervision we manage to discuss all the problems of the human soul and then end up coming back to treating the patient's swollen toe or their allergy to pears!'
The Tutorial System aims to fulfil two main functions. Graduating students need to develop communication and teaching skills and are therefore linked up with students from earlier years. Both tutors and students are expected to communicate throughout the month. The student's journal allows for uncertainties and critical issues to be highlighted and raised as issues for discussion and support. All students are required to record their own personal experience of the course, the subjects covered and to keep a record of their personal development.