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Virtual clinical placement project is one of ten new projects to benefit students on healthcare courses

3rd July 2019

The University of Liverpool celebrates being awarded £50,000 of funding to build on a successful pilot to help reduce clinical training burden through simulation placements for students in allied health disciplines. Through this project, students can experience and replicate real life situations they would face as a radiographer in a clinical environment whilst at university.

Demi-Lee Armstrong, 21, first year student of Radiotherapy at University of Liverpool, from Derry Northern Ireland said: “We were brought out of our comfort zone and placed into situations that radiographers can be on a daily basis, for example, a patient getting really upset or anxious about their treatment. We also got practical by setting the actors up for a CT scan, talking them through it step by step while learning what happens during a scan.”

Read more about Demi’s experience as a first-year radiography student

Pete Bridge, University of Liverpool’s admissions tutor for radiotherapy and the initiative’s lead said: “Students will benefit from enjoyable learning activities and from more efficient clinical placements. The world-first findings from this project suggest that we could reduce the required length of clinical placement time by using simulated placements. This will prove attractive to students; in particular mature students who often struggle with the travel and logistical issues associated with placement.”

Above: Pictures of students during their placements at University of Liverpool

A further nine university projects have also been successful in their bids for a share of £440,000 of funding to provide students with better experiences in studying healthcare courses, improving their future prospects in these professions.

Other projects to receive funding include:

  • The University of Coventry has received £50,000 for their Healthpro Challenge: Using simulation and gamification to support mature, male career changers into the health professions project. This will help to raise awareness of health careers amongst men considering a career change.
  • The University of Chester will use £43,500 to propose the development of an online tool to be used by six universities in the North East. It has been designed to help students who have been unsuccessful previously in their application for nursing or allied health courses, to build their competencies for them to reapply.
  • The University of Hull has received £49,808 for their Alternative routes into health and social care project, aimed primarily at mature students, supporting people with childcare commitments or work commitments.
  • The University of Nottingham will use £8,200 of funding to organise a summer event recruiting mature healthcare students.
  • Sheffield Hallam University has received £44,975 to use simulation activities as a way of recruiting new students into diagnostic radiography, therapeutic radiography and operating department practice. This will provide an alternate to work shadowing to help people find out more about these roles.
  • The University of east London has received £50,000 for their CUREate Health as an arts pathway project, to promote health degrees to last years arts students.
  • The University of Huddersfield will pilot a student run, community facing clinic to raise awareness of allied health professions with £50,000 of funding.
  • The University of Leeds has received £46,925 for their Head-start into healthcare project, engaging male year 12 students to increase male participation in nursing and allied health disciplines using virtual reality and mentoring.
  • The University of Wolverhampton will organise a Summer school programme for mature students/male students aged 18+ to support recruitment, retention and success on health professions courses.

The initiatives have been supported with money from the Office for Students’ Challenge Fund, as part of the Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines programme to support the allied health professions. The programme aims to attract more students from diverse backgrounds to study and complete these courses, developing the next generation of healthcare professionals.

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