The allied health early graduate education program: responding to changing graduate needs in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic

Ms Melissa Bartlett1, Ms Andrea Bramley1, Ms Debra Mitchell1

1Monash Health, Clayton, Australia

The Monash Health Allied Health Early Graduate Education Program supports new allied health graduates in their transition from student to allied health professional in their first year of clinical practice. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the program needed to adapt quickly to meet changing organisational and health department requirements whilst still meeting our graduate’s educational and support needs.

Education sessions usually held face to face were transferred into an online format using remote meeting software.

Results/ Discussion
Engagement levels dropped dramatically when education moved to the online format. Graduates became noticeably fatigued and attendance levels dropped from approximately 95% to 75%.

Moving to more frequent, shorter sessions improved engagement and attendance. Graduates reported increased satisfaction and less fatigue with this change in format.

The Allied Health Early Graduate Advisor also implemented 1:1 individual meetings with all graduates. Some graduates were facing challenges that they felt unable to share in a group format when they were joining the meeting from an open plan office or other non-private space. The 1:1 meetings allowed graduates a safe space to discuss these issues and built rapport with the program advisor/facilitator.

Issues/questions for exploration or ideas for discussion: Delivering remote graduate education offers the potential to increase access and efficiency however strategies are required to mitigate drawbacks such as increased cognitive load and decreased participation and peer connection. How can we effectively merge our learnings from the pandemic with existing knowledge of best practice education moving forward?


Bio to come.

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