Developing and piloting a simulated placement experience for students

Natasha Taylor, Martyn Wyres, Abbie Green, Kathleen Hennessy-Priest, Carla Phillips, Emily Daymond, Rachel Love, Rebecca Johnson, Jane Wright

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


COVID-19 and rising student numbers are affecting healthcare education, particularly access to clinical placements. As healthcare education is increasingly supported by technology and non-traditional teaching methods, educational experiences gained through clinical placement also require new approaches. This article explores and discusses the use of a simulated clinical placement for a dietetic student cohort. During this virtual placement, students were able to explore and experience a virtual clinical setting and immerse themselves in a placement experience. A vast range of virtual resources were linked to the online placement portal, including statutory and mandatory training, dietetic resources, patient journeys and interprofessional communication. Advantages of this approach include that all students experience a given situation, unlike in traditional placements where workloads, variety and engagement vary; there is also no risk to patient safety. The aim is to enhance the learning experience to create effective, efficient clinicians. This virtual placement for dietetics is part of a bigger project to develop and evaluate the use of a virtual placement framework in a range of professions. The concept of virtual placement may have been brought forward by the COVID-19 crisis but was inevitable with the move to more technology-enhanced learning tools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S19-S24
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number13
Early online date12 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2021


  • Dietetics
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Nursing
  • Simulation
  • Education, Distance/organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate/organization & administration
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology
  • Learning
  • Pilot Projects
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Students, Nursing/psychology
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Simulation Training/organization & administration


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