Before our Diploma of Community Service students can graduate, they must participate in a simulated skills clinic to ensure that they’re armed with the skills to work in the industry. Traditionally, we have organised actors to come on-site and act out real-life scenarios. This allows students to assess the “client” and put their skills to work under the supervision of their teacher.
Due to the coronavirus restrictions, the skills clinic has moved to a virtual environment, which involves a three-way conversation between the student, the teacher and the actor. The scene is set and works exactly the same as in person.
At the conclusion of every session, the student, actor and teacher discuss what happened and share feedback on how it went. It also assists the actor to unpack the scene and get out of character. Due to the virtual environment, students are able to receive focused feedback and can continue their studies without interruption, allowing them to graduate on time.
The virtual skills clinic also prepares students for telehealth, which is the use of telecommunication techniques to provide health advice over a distance. Due to the coronavirus restrictions, this is a popular way of meeting with patients at the moment.
Recently, student, Tracy Morganella commended the skills clinic session in an open post on LinkedIn:
“A big shout out to Box Hill, Kelly Quirk, the teachers and staff for putting together a skills clinic on teams so that those of us who have even finished assignments and placement could complete our diplomas. I can’t even begin to imagine the logistics behind the scenes of doing this. But I am very grateful for the experience. There have been a lot of challenges in the last 18 months but you have all been very supportive and have made miracles, thank you.”