Exploring Allied Health clinical educator and student experiences of remote clinical supervision during COVID-19 restrictions

Ms Andrea Bramley1,3, Ms Jade Courtney1,2, Ms  Sharon Glass1, Dr Debra Mitchell1,2

1Monash Health, Cheltenham,, Australia, 2Monash University, Clayton, Australia, 3La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic drove a rapid pivot to remote clinical placements via telehealth to ensure clinical teaching and entry into the Allied Health (AH) workforce could continue. There is limited understanding of the benefit and risks of remote clinical placements on AH teaching and learning with most literature focused on the clinical rather than educational efficacy of telehealth.   This exploratory research seeks to investigate AH Student and Clinical Educator experiences of remote clinical supervision to inform resource development to support future remote placements.

Method: Allied Health students and clinical educators who participated in remote clinical supervision from July-December 2020 at a large, metropolitan health network were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were recorded via WebexTM videoconferencing software, transcribed and interpreted using a phemenological approach using NVivo 12 with key themes identified. A literature review was performed to identify existing resources and best practice associated with identified themes.

Results: A total of 19 participants were recruited and consented to interview (n=15 Clinical Educators) and (n=4 students). Early findings revealed many combinations of remote clinical supervision with variations dependent on profession, setting and stage of Covid-19 restrictions.  A wide range of clinical experiences are possible via telehealth with some better suited than others to this modality. Further thematic analysis will be presented.

Conclusion: Remote clinical placements may be a viable future option to support allied health student clinical placements but more research is needed to understand the impact on learning and define best practice.


Andrea Bramley is the Allied Health Education Lead for Monash Health and Adjunct Senior lecturer at La Trobe University. Andrea is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian with extensive experience in clinical nutrition, obesity and diabetes. Prior to commencing her role as Allied Health Education Lead at Monash, Andrea was an academic and the course co-ordinator of the Dietetics Program at La Trobe University. Andrea is a PhD candidate who is exploring the use of Entrustable Professional Activities for student work-place assessment in dietetics in her doctoral studies.

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