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#21: Placements – Innovation from a crisis (Unconference 2020)

This episode is one in a short series on different ways of thinking about physiotherapy education, published as part of the In Beta 2020 Unconference.

Thanks to Jane Ashbrook from Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom) and Beatriz Martínez (Spain) for preparing this episode.


In this podcast, Jane and Beatriz consider the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on student physiotherapy placement provision. They speak to academic staff and students about some of their challenges and experiences and invite the listener to reflect on these, as well as their own experiences and consider how we can learn from each other to enable students the opportunity to gain a more contemporary and diverse placement experience in the future.

Student physiotherapists all over the world had their clinical placements halted early in the pandemic and in most countries placement provision is now nowhere near back to the pre-Covid capacity and there are numerous students with lost placement hours to catch up. Academic staff, students and clinicians have been working hard to provide different and innovative placement models alongside attempting to get students back into face-to-face practice while respecting the increased risk as a result of potential for Covid-19 infections.

Additional resources


How to engage with this podcast

  1. Listen to the podcast taking breaks in between sections as you wish.
  2. Record your key reflections and share these with other participants.
  3. Join a discussion with other unconference participants on the topic and the reflections that it has stimulated.

This podcast is around 40 minutes long. It includes some discussion to make you think about the possible future of physiotherapy education and reflect on your responses. We suggest that you listen to the podcast away from your desk. You might choose to listen whilst you go for a walk or a run in your local area, or you could find somewhere to sit and listen quietly away from other screens and distractions.

The podcast is divided into different sections with approximately 1-min silence in between each section. You can leave the podcast running and listen to it all in one go, or you can pause the podcast during these pauses to make brief notes on your thoughts as you go, but you don’t have to record and share your response to every question. Instead, aim to capture the key reflection that you took away from the experience.

At the end of the podcast, aim to capture your key reflections in a way that they can be shared with other participants. You can choose to do this however and wherever you wish. It could be as a video, in writing, a series of pictures and could be saved as a note on your phone, a Google doc, a blog, a series of tweets, or a video on YouTube.

Once you have created your brief reflection on the podcast, please share it by posting it, or a link to it on the relevant padlet on the Unconference Canvas page by 11:00am UTC on September 15th.

After sharing your reflection, take a look at the reflections from other participants to gain different perspectives on the topic. These will form the stimulus for the synchronous discussion on the 15th September at 12:00am (UTC). To join the conversation click the relevant link on the Canvas page at the appropriate time.


Featured image by Amarnath Tade on Unsplash

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