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Celebrating excellence in teaching – Sharon Clipperton

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This International Day of Education, we recognise the role educators play in developing the capabilities of our healthcare workforce.  

Sharon Clipperton, Education Coordinator at Mater Hospital Brisbane, has been delivering teaching excellence at Mater for 15 years and was recognised by her peers for her outstanding contribution to education and healthcare at the 2023 Mater People Awards. 

Sharon’s work as part of the Mater Education Practice Improvement Centre (MEPIC), creates simulated scenarios that allow healthcare professionals to learn in a safe and supportive environment.  

“I look after several programs within the simulation space, and I enjoy the variety that it brings. I can be delivering introduction to simulation methodology, training colleagues in communications-based programs for critical event debriefing or facilitating OptiSim to support healthcare professionals mitigate risk.’ 

‘A significant focus in my role is leading maternity emergency management programs that lead to improved clinical outcomes in maternity care for patients.’ 

“Often, people who take part in simulation aren’t that comfortable using simulation as a training tool, especially at the start of a session. By the end, they feel confident and prepared. Participants always share how rewarding they find the learning process. They recognise the benefits of simulation and say ‘Wow! I never thought of it like that!’” 

Sharon started at Mater Mothers Private Hospital Brisbane in April 2008 as a midwife after emigrating from England. Two and half years later, Sharon saw an opportunity to contribute to an education role. 

“They don’t have many educators in the United Kingdom in clinical areas. At Mater, there was a team focussed on improving the care we give, and I saw the opportunity to use my experience as a midwife to contribute to that.” 

Sharon’s passion for educating Mater People continues to shine through, no more exemplified than her receiving an Excellence in Teaching Award at the 2023 Mater People Awards.  

“I had previously been nominated but this is the first time I’ve won, which was lovely. It’s even more lovely that a peer has taken the time to nominate me for the award. I feel really honoured, appreciated, and valued within my role.”  

Sharon stressed the importance for healthcare education to be adaptable and open to change as the sector continues to evolve. 

“Health is an ever-changing environment. Ask any clinician they’ll tell you the same thing; new procedures are being developed every day. There’s always something new.” 

“We need to be adaptable to that change and support our clinicians to be prepared, accept change and apply it in the clinical space.’ 

For those thinking about pursuing a healthcare career, Sharon says ‘Give it a go!’ 

“There are so many opportunities in health. Where you start isn’t where you end up. We all start somewhere, and it can take you wherever you want to go.” 

Learn more about Mater Education’s Simulation training opportunities here.

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