Support for educators and students during the pandemic
The Physiotherapy Board of Australia (the Board) acknowledges the challenges faced by physiotherapy students and educators during the current global crisis.
All physiotherapy programs across Australia have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been variations in the state and territory governments’ response to the pandemic, with different restrictions applying to each jurisdiction.
The Board acknowledges how physiotherapy students and educators have adapted in response to the pandemic.
We have seen big changes in the approach to education this year, and all involved have demonstrated exceptional flexibility and innovation in order to achieve the competencies required to successfully complete the programs.
The impact on education programs also varies from state to state, with some big challenges that include:
- moving from face-to-face to online learning
- cancellation of student clinical placements
- border closures—preventing students accessing campuses or clinical placements
- state lockdowns—forcing some practices and clinics to close for unpredictable lengths of time or have limited patient access
- limitations of staff and students moving between clinical locations
- reduced access for international students due to border and/or visa restrictions
- restricted access to aged care facilities and other vulnerable individuals
- increased workloads for educators—the need to adapt course content and access different student placements to meet student learning requirements.
All of these considerations have required students, educators, and clinical placement providers to adapt quickly and effectively to deliver online learning outcomes while ensuring practice thresholds and accreditation standards are met.
The Board recognises the increased pressure on work and study that has been brought about by these changes, on top of the personal stress more broadly experienced in the midst of a pandemic.
Board Chair Kim Gibson says, ‘We anticipate all programs will have a graduating 2020 cohort, which is a fabulous outcome.
‘It has been a very challenging time emotionally, mentally and physically and we are impressed by the resilience shown by all.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to reach out for support from student services or an Employee Assistance Program.’
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