Students from Arcada and Prakticum working together in teams at Laakso Hospital

The practical period run jointly between Helsinki Hospital, Arcada University of Applied Sciences and upper secondary vocational institution Prakticum at Laakso Hospital is based on students taking responsibility for care as independently as possible. The module practical periods have been offered since spring 2023 and are now taking place in almost every ward at the hospital.
Students at Laakso hospital. Photo: Kaisa Sunimento
Students at Laakso hospital. Photo: Kaisa Sunimento

During spring 2024, Laakso Hospital offered two multi-professional practical modules. The modules provide students with a realistic idea of the work that takes place on hospital wards, with different professions treating patients together.  

“We have physiotherapy, nursing, practical nursing and occupational therapy students all taking part. This is the first time we have tried having students from so many different courses working together. It has worked well, but it is always worth thinking about ways to improve how the groups work together even further,” explains Chief Nursing Officer Anna Holmström of Laakso Hospital.

The modules have seen students looking after eight patients per shift. This simulates the actual patient numbers students can expect after graduating. As the students involved have their own designated patients, they can form closer patient relationships with them.

Students support and learn from each other

According to the students, the best thing about the module-based practical period is that they can learn from and gain support from each other, but having the chance to practise their skills independently is also considered a positive. However, the students emphasise that they are required to take an active approach and keep tabs on their own objectives.

Students from different courses working together means that they plan their shifts, priorities and the division of labour together.

“During the practical period, the students get an insight into the different professions and see how they support patients’ recovery and rehabilitation. Some students know others who have taken part in one of these practical periods, but for most, working as part of a professional team is a new experience,” Anna continues.

More courses to join in the future

One objective for the future is for more Swedish-speaking pharmacy students and students training to be doctors to be included in the modules. Hopefully this will become a reality in the future.

“We would like to have much bigger module groups and sign up many more students, but unfortunately there are certain obstacles in the way,” Anna states.

“We have been running our module-based practical periods for a while now, and what we have learned is that success requires excellent planning and preparations on the part of the personnel. We have got fairly good at this, but there is always room for improvement,” Anna concludes.