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Clinical placements are now, more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, a huge time and personnel commitment. Recently, allied health students have had huge changes to their placements, often undertaking them entirely remotely. This article describes a novel method of delivering speech and language therapy placements in adult neurological settings in part as a simulation. This study compared data from 150 students who attended traditional placements of an average of 23 days, with 138 students who attended a simulated placement for five days, followed by a shorter traditional placement (five days were subtracted off their traditional placement). The study was conducted across five Australian universities using the same measure (COMPASS) to compare student competence. Students performed comparably, making the same gains regardless of placement type. This study provides evidence that modifying the way placements are delivered will still ensure speech and language therapy students are able to achieve a comparable standard of skills. This study underlines the value of continuing to provide modified placements during the pandemic and suggests simulation could further reduce the burden for health services during COVID-19 times. 

Simulation can replace part of speech-language pathology placement time: a randomised controlled trial.
Hill A, Ward E, Heard R, et al.
2020;Early online:1-11.
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Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

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