Building flexibility in allied health education: Exploring students’ and educators’ experiences and outcomes during a telehealth clinic

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Telehealth is recognised as a socially just health-care modality that addresses issues of access to health care. In response to COVID-19, telehealth has rapidly emerged as a standard mode of care and education across health disciplines. Despite strong interest in telehealth, and development of telehealth infrastructure, research around health work force training remains limited.
Within allied health, education has focused on telehealth knowledge and skill development, including technical skills, communication skills and medico-legal requirements. In contrast the use of telehealth as a mode for face to face clinical education is little understood. Further, there is growing evidence of the need to support educators’ transition into technology mediated clinical education environments.
This presentation draws on research findings regarding student and educator experiences during an innovative telehealth simulated clinic run as part of a re-imagined blended online Master of Speech Pathology course. It represents innovation from ‘those on the ground’ and provides ongoing opportunity for strategic innovation.

A mixed methods approach was used to explore student (n=35) and clinical educator (n=6) experiences during a telehealth clinic. Pre- and post-clinic online surveys conducted with students revealed increased feelings of confidence and competence, and increased positivity regarding the use of telehealth as a mode for clinical education. These findings provided the basis for discussion in follow-up student focus groups and clinical educator interviews.

Feedback and recommendations from the research findings will be used to prompt reflection and discussion within the workshop. Through participation in this workshop, attendees will:
• Engage with project findings regarding educators and student perspectives on telehealth clinics.
• Discuss their own experiences of providing telehealth clinical education
• Discuss and reflect on their own perceptions of student experiences and outcomes
The workshop will incorporate online interactive tools to replicate the reflection process undertaken by students and educators in the research project.


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