Phone visiting as a novel clinical experience for health care students during COVID-19 and beyond


During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a need to utilize innovative clinical placements for health care students. The Saskatchewan Polytechnic Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) Program created a five-week phone visiting program to meet the clinical needs of CCA students and to assist older adults who were experiencing social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Student evaluations from the project were analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic analysis and resulted in three themes: building communication skills, communication as your job, and older adults as people. This program was successful in providing students the opportunity to practice communication, learn the importance of effective communication in the workplace, and view older adults from a new perspective. The phone visiting program was beneficial for both students and the older adults involved.  Phone visiting programs would be a beneficial addition to health sciences programs as part of clinical or communication classes.

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