April Placement Profile – Blending face-to-face contact with remote learning in a rehab setting

This month we highlight another innovative student placement model that features, along with many others, on the CSP’s Placement Profile platform.

April 2021 - Placement Profile
Students currently taking part in the innovative placement model

The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals have recently created a flexible and innovative student placement model, which has a whole-team multidisciplinary approach at its core, and blends face-to-face contact with remote learning and project service evaluation in a tertiary rehab setting. 

Under this model, students on placement follow a weekly schedule that combines:

  • two days of face-to-face activity
  • two days of remote activity
  • and one day of project service evaluation work

The students are supervised by both physiotherapists and other members of the multidisciplinary team, including exercise physiologists, a nurse, a rehab assistant and the therapy lead.

And effective communication is fostered by two-way feedback between the rehab team and the practice educator.

This model’s blended learning approach allows for greater flexibility – which has been very much required throughout the pandemic – and also provides students with a broader learning experience within the tertiary rehab setting.

Commenting on this innovative approach, and the benefits it provided, therapy lead Heather Probert said:

The students were able to gain experience of a wide range of settings which was invaluable due to the lack of range of previous placements some students had gained due to Covid

 Heather Probert
Therapy lead Heather Probert

‘They worked onsite in our gym, in the community venues, virtually leading individual and group sessions with patients as well as gaining experience of audit and project work.’

In addition, students on this placement are able to continue working when they need to self-isolate and there is less footfall in the clinical setting.

As Ms Probert explained: ‘One student was able to complete the last week of their placement remotely from their home in Canada’.

Gaining an insight into patients’ post-hospital rehab journey

During the placement, the face-to-face and remote clinical time involved students leading subjective assessments and reassessments over phone or video, as well as face-to-face objective assessments, leading exercise classes and performing online education sessions.

Mario Tuturici
Physio student Mario Tuturici

Mario Tuturici, a University of Brighton physiotherapy student who has recently completed this placement, reflected on the experience and said:

It was great to witness and have an important role in a patient’s rehab journey post hospital discharge

‘With inpatient placements I found I was often left wondering how the patient will do in the future. So it was great to be able to see and contribute to this part of their recovery.

‘I loved being able to positively influence and empower patients through exercise and leading classes and assessments on a regular basis.’

Students’ clinical research leads to accepted abstracts

In the course of their project work, students on the placement were provided with valuable research experience, as they were able to evaluate the outcomes of new models of care that the team adopted in response to the pandemic.

Some of these projects have since been successfully accepted as abstracts to upcoming conferences with the students as co-authors which will be a great addition to their CV.     

Commenting on the success of the initiative, Sarah-Jane Ryan, practice education lead at Brighton University, said:

It was excellent to see Mario exposed to clinical research in practice as well as really understand how much this can add to the patient experience and the service provide

Read the full details of this placement profile and others here

Do you have an innovative placement to share? Please tell us about it here

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