On clinical placement and shielding: how technology is allowing nursing students to ‘be there’

Attending virtual placements will help ensure final-year cohort can graduate on time

Nursing student Romi Dhillon

Final-year nursing students shielding from coronavirus are using online video software to attend their final clinical placements.

The 21 students, from the University of Essex and Anglia Ruskin University, are able to undertake nine-week health visiting and school nursing clinical placements from the safety of home thanks to the technology.

Essential source of practice experience

Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service set up the virtual placements to ensure the shielded group could graduate on time.

The students are able to take part in new birth visits, child developmental assessments, and antenatal evaluations.

One student taking part is Anglia Ruskin nursing student, Romi Dhillon. She said: 'Virtual placement is a brilliant idea for those like me who are unable to attend a clinical area due to the pandemic.’

‘Excellent level of supervision’

University of Essex placements director Chris Green said: 'Students engaged in the virtual placement continue to report an excellent level of supervision, support as well as significant benefits to their progression through their nursing programme.'

Karen Wilson, regional education lead for the service contractor Virgin Care said: 'When the pandemic started we had a number of students in Essex who were shielding and we did not want them to lose out after showing so much commitment so we developed this innovative programme.'

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