Challenges and opportunities in practical training – perceptions of clinical education


  • Kadri Pill Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu
  • Einike Pilli Lifelong Learning Center, University of Tartu



clinical education, importance of practical training, perception of physiotherapy students


The aim of the present study was to analyse students’ perceptions of clinical education – what kind of learning opportunities they had and what kind of challenges they met. Eighty six different feedback forms were analysed, which were gathered from 28 third-year physiotherapy students after their final practical training was over. Answers to the questions were analysed by the method of content analysis and divided into categories. Students appreciated when they were treated as equals, their opinion was listened to and their preferences were taken into consideration. However, not everybody was satisfied with the relationship with supervisor. Respondents mentioned several aspects of the pedagogical skills of their supervisors. These were as follows: increasing students’ independence, planning the learning process, asking questions, and giving feedback. Students were content with their training when they saw different patients who had varied diagnoses. They also liked when the placement was well-equipped and the emotional climate was friendly and positive. Sometimes students had feelings that they did not do anything educative. Sometimes students felt that the emotional climate was tense or they did not understand the rules.


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