The importance of 'core' clinical placements upon graduate self perceived confidence and effectiveness in the healthcare workplace


To explore the impact of not having a 'core' physio placement up on student confidence and perceived effectiveness upon entering the profession.


Students had completed all university teaching modules and assignments except their final clinical placement. Students with a traditional 'core' placement upcoming were identified and invited to undertake a pre and post placement online survey. Should this placement be cancelled or rearranged and a similar area not found they would therefore not experience that 'core' area. With this becoming a distinct possibility and reality for universities in the UK the impact of this was explored. An online survey captured students thoughts as a group before and after placement.


Results: Students showed an increase in confidence around skills specific to that area of practice following clinical placement. They also showed increased self confidence and readiness to work in that area of the profession.

Conclusion(s): It is of importance that students experience a rounded clinical placement experience when at University to prepare them for the workplace. This involves different specialities within Physiotherapy and if this can not be achieved out in practice due to capacity of placements then it needs to be replicated in the university or through alternate placement models. This could be simulation hours within a university space or by rotation of students on clinical placement in the same NHS trust.

Cost and savings

No funding for this project. If changes were to be made then structural changes between University staff and Practice partners would need to take place.


Physiotherapy clinical placements may need to adapt to face the future difficulties presented by lack of placement capacity. Also the consideration of simulation placement hours or altered placement models to allow students a wider experience within their clinical hours.

Top three learning points

No further data 

Funding acknowledgements

No funding required.