Adaptation of simulated clinical placement during COVID-19 - pilot of an online format

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With the onset of COVID-19 in Victoria, there was an immediate and major suspension or cancellation of professional practice placements available for occupational therapy students. To address this shortfall in placements, the Masters of Occupational Therapy Practice program at Monash University developed and piloted a simulated clinical placement, delivered online.

To describe a simulated clinical placement that was delivered online during COVID-19, and report on the benefits, challenges and outcomes for students and staff.

This paper will describe underpinning frameworks and considerations for designing and delivering a simulated placement online. The results of an online survey completed by 33 Masters of Occupational Therapy Practice students in 2020 who undertook the placement, together with staff reflections on the challenges and benefits of the placement, will be presented.
Over 83% of students reported the pilot to be extremely useful or moderately useful. Interviewing a simulated patient, gaining practice in a telehealth environment, and getting immediate feedback from supervisors were identified as the most useful components of the placement.
Occupational therapy students in the early stages of their learning can gain important skills from a simulated clinical placement delivered online, that incorporates quality, authentic learning and assessment, and is underpinned by a clear conceptual framework. In addition to ensuring clear alignment between learning outcomes and activities, consideration should be given to staff and learners’ knowledge and skills in using online platforms and other technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2021
EventOccupational Therapy Australia National Conference and Exhibition 2021 - Virtual, Australia
Duration: 23 Jun 202125 Jun 2021
Conference number: 29th (link to Vol 68 S1 of the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal published abstract from the conference)

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