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27 Facilitating the holistic learning of pre-registration physiotherapy students about the complex child through a student support group programme (SSG) within the practice placement setting
  1. Kerry McLaughlin,
  2. Karen Edwards
  1. Great Ormond Street Hospital


Introduction Clinical education is a vital component within physiotherapy students learning. Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) offers practice placements to physiotherapy students to facilitate this. However students’ exposure and theoretical learning around paediatrics is variable across pre-registration education, especially when considering the complexity of children seen at GOSH. Physiotherapy students are offered a six week rolling programme which is designed to develop their knowledge and skills and promote student engagement around the holistic management of the complex child. These sessions are based on the following themes: the bigger picture, clinical governance, communication, safeguarding, parallel planning and interview preparation.

Aims To evaluate how the SSG has influenced physiotherapy students learning within the practice placement setting.

Method Students completed feedback forms following each session. They rated content, clarity, relevance and delivery style. They reported the most and least useful parts, how it would change their practice and suggest possible changes. Feedback forms were analysed and key themes were identified.

Results Students highlighted an improvement in their reflective practice, development of knowledge and that they would change their practice as a result. It was reported that sharing open discussions in a non-pressured environment was most useful.

Parallel planning was identified as a topic which students had minimal exposure to within their academic learning. Working in a paediatric tertiary setting students experience complex needs for the first time. This session was found to be a supportive and safe environment to share their experiences, awareness and gain insight into the multi-disciplinary team involvement.

Conclusion Students reported a positive influence on their clinical practice as a result of their new knowledge around the complex child, whilst feeling supported within the group.

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