Education at the elbow: The use of a Clinical Coach Framework in the Emergency Department

Amanda Naumann1, Sean Lannan1, Val Mitchell1

1Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Birtinya, Australia, 2Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Birtinya, Australia

As Emergency Departments continue to evolve and grow in line with healthcare advancements, the need to support nurses working clinically has grown accordingly.

As Nurse Educators became increasingly involved in strategic direction and leadership activities, time in point of care education became reduced. Educators were being consistently time challenged and bedside education had to compete with other organisational priorities.

The Clinical Coach (CC) Framework was initiated to provide bedside education for clinical nursing staff. An innovative program was developed, fully funding senior clinicians to provide ongoing educational support at the point of care. This position expands on the role traditionally held by facilitators and preceptors. The CC spends 80% of their time coaching staff using mentoring, teaching modelling and assessing to improve practice to benefit patient care. The remaining 20% of their time is devoted to educational administrative responsibilities such as data entry, in service planning and reviewing of induction processes. The Clinical Coach Framework requires Coaches to be accountable for and report against five common indicators: clinical induction; preceptorship; clinical development; mandatory training; and, safe practice.

This presentation describes the innovation, role activities and outcomes over a five year period.

Results demonstrate increased compliance of mandatory training, increased bedside and in-service education, improved staff induction processes and a robust method of staff progression through the various levels of Emergency Department nursing.

The Clinical Coach Framework provides a robust and educationally sound approach to providing point of care support for clinicians in the Emergency Department. The success of this framework is evidenced by its implementation in Emergency Departments across the Health Service.


Amanda is a nurse educator for emergency services with the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service. Amanda has worked in Emergency Departments in Australia and overseas, and has an interest in the development of the Advanced Practice Nurse role in ED.

 Sean is currently a nurse educator for emergency services with the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health service. Sean has a history as a nurse working in Emergency Departments in Regional and Metropolitan Health Services and has an interest in Simulation Education.