African Journal of Health Professions Education - latest Issue
Volume 8, Issue 2, 2016
Author Michael RoweSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.889More Less
Health and education systems are increasingly recognised as complex adaptive systems, characterised by high levels of uncertainty and constant change as a result of rich, non-linear interactions that cannot all be tracked. This means that complex systems are inherently ambiguous and uncertain, and that they lack predictable outcomes or clear boundaries. As systems have become more complex and integrated at the beginning of the 21st century, it is no longer possible for individuals or even single disciplines to work effectively within them.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.641More Less
Cuban medical internationalism is a strategy aimed at providing medical personnel to under-resourced countries. To address the severe shortage of medical doctors in rural South Africa (SA), our government forged an intergovernmental agreement to train rural and disadvantaged students at tertiary Cuban medical facilities. The collaboration students spend a year studying Spanish, and then receive an additional 4 years of medical training before returning to SA to complete their 5th and final academic years. They graduate from a local medical school with a view to practise in rural and underserved areas of SA. This report summarises a study that explored the success of the collaboration strategy at a local medical school.
Remembering old partnerships : networking as new medical schools within BoLeSwa countries : short research reportSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 130 –131 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.525More Less
In southern Africa, former members of the Botswana-Lesotho-Swaziland (BoLeSwa) partnership, Botswana and Lesotho, have established their first and only publicly funded medical schools in their countries. Swaziland has a private medical school. The three countries have a long history of partnership through the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (UBLS) system - a derivative of BoLeSwa. Botswana and Lesotho are also members of a newly founded Consortium of New Southern African Medical Schools (CONSAMS). The UBLS was established in Lesotho in 1964 by a royal charter, two years before the three countries gained independence. It was founded to address manpower constraints in anticipation of their independence. The three countries had agreed to concentrate on different professional trainings, as follows: Botswana in engineering, Swaziland in agriculture, and Lesotho in medicine. CONSAMS was established as a unique collaborative approach involving south-south networks, which included south-north partnerships. This created an opportunity to strengthen medical education in the region. The BoLeSwa partnership is further strengthened by participation in CONSAMS by two of the five founding members. Other members include Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. A sharing of resources through regional and international partnerships has been established. The sub-Saharan African Medical School Study has examined the challenges, innovations, and emerging trends in medical education in the region and has made recommendations on how to better share resources. CONSAMS is one innovative way of addressing these issues. Partnerships between the BoLeSwa countries have been strengthened through CONSAMS. This has afforded the new medical schools sharing of their limited resources.
Tracking Master of Public Health graduates : linking higher education and the labour market : short research reportSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 132 –134 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.681More Less
Background. Master of Public Health (MPH) students come from a wide range of health professional backgrounds. Graduate programmes in public health should equip alumni with knowledge and skills to analyse and integrate health research findings, and have a practical approach to current public health issues. In South Africa (SA), there is a need for health professionals with an adaptable public health approach who can contribute meaningfully to addressing public health problems and transforming the health sector. The role and relevance of graduate public health training in the SA healthcare system have not yet been reported. Tracking of graduates is important to assess the effectiveness of study programmes, graduates' worth for the healthcare labour market, and their contribution towards improving the healthcare system.
Objective. To describe the professional backgrounds of MPH graduates from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, SA and the role of their learning in their current public health practice.
Methods. An emailed, self-administered questionnaire survey of graduates (N=61) was conducted in 2013.
Results. Forty-five (73%) of the 61 contactable public health graduates from the past 10 years returned the completed questionnaire; 28 (63%) are working in the public sector and 9 (22%) at academic institutions. Graduates reported that research skills, critical analysis, report writing, and leadership and management were acquired in the MPH programme. Most reported that they were able to integrate the knowledge and skills acquired from the MPH degree in their current workplace.
Conclusion. The MPH degree equips graduates with skills that contribute to addressing some of the public health problems in SA.
Research supervision : perceptions of postgraduate nursing students at a higher education institution in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 135 –139 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.294More Less
Background. Scientific advancement, particularly in the area of information communication technology (ICT), challenges the mode of knowledge advancement at universities. Such challenges are especially evident in the area of postgraduate (PG) research supervision, particularly in the light of the changing students' demography, whereby there is a radical shift from full-time campus-based students to part-time students. This challenge is compounded by many countries not considering research competency as a requirement for PG supervision - the result of static and outdated curricula.
Objective. To explore the perceptions of PG nursing students with regard to the research supervision process.
Methods. A quantitative research study was conducted at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa using non-convenience sampling. The PG Research Experience Survey questionnaire was adapted for the current study. Ethical clearance was obtained from UKZN's Ethics Committee. The population consisted of the PG coursework Master's nursing students who were registered for the research project module during 2012. A total of 56 students participated, with a response rate of 70%. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 19 (SPSS 19) (IBM Corp., USA).
Results. The findings revealed that more than half of the respondents (66.2%; n=37) rated the level of support from research supervisors as moderate on a scale of low to high. The period of research supervision, mode of attendance and status within the university were identified as factors influencing the perceptions of support from research supervisors.
Conclusion. This study recommends that, to improve the quality of research supervision, there is a need to include a research supervision module in the curriculum of nurse educators and to adopt online research supervision, underpinned by the extensive use of ICT to accommodate both part-time and full-time PG students.
The electrocardiogram made (really) easy : using small-group tutorials to teach electrocardiogram interpretation to final-year medical students : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 140 –143 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.451More Less
Background. Since the 1990s, studies have reported the inability of medical schools to equip students with knowledge and skills to interpret an electrocardiogram (ECG). This has also been the case at the School of Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, with external examiners in the final examinations repeatedly commenting on the poor performance of students with regard to interpreting ECGs. Subsequently, the Department of Internal Medicine designed small-group tutorials using animations and analogies as methods to improve the ECG interpretation skills of students.
Objectives. To improve students' ability to interpret ECGs and assess their perceptions of the tutorials.
Methods. A questionnaire was administered to 67 final-year medical students after their internal medicine rotation in 2012. The objective of the questionnaire was to obtain feedback on students' experiences and perceptions of ECG tutorials.
Results. Although the results do not provide evidence that the abovementioned methods improved the students' competency to interpret ECGs, the limited findings from their perceptions might assist in the further use and improvement of such an approach to facilitate learning.
Conclusion. This article highlights the responsive efforts and willingness of registrars in the Department of Internal Medicine to improve the teaching of a major and frequently used investigation such as the ECG, and how registrars formalised these two methods into tutorials.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 144 –147 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.520More Less
Background. Clinical bedside teaching is more effective when done at the bedside. The number of medical schools in Ethiopia has increased tenfold in 8 years to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The increased number of students at the patient's bedside has been met with mixed feelings by patients.
Objective. To determine patients' perceptions of bedside teaching during their admission to the medical and surgical wards at Mekelle University Hospital, Ethiopia.
Methods. A 32-item questionnaire was used for data collection. Patients used a Likert scale to rate their perceptions of the quality of their hospital stay with regard to teaching, clerkships and physical examinations. Items where respondents scored less than the median of 67 (interquartile range 21) were categorised as displaying a negative attitude.
Results. Patients (60%) did not favour the bedside teaching activities. No significant association was found with age, sex, occupation, literacy level, duration of hospital stay, and ward. Patients (>80%) also did not understand the discussions following teaching sessions, and claimed to be unaware of the teaching status of the hospital. Patients (>80%) did not understand the role of the students and were anxious when left alone to be examined and clerked by them.
Conclusion. The rights of patients in medical education should be emphasised. Patients should be informed about the role of students at teaching hospitals and about their rights and responsibilities as patients. Institutional protocols and country-wide guidelines can help to regulate the number of times that a patient should be clerked and physically examined by students. Instructors should ensure that patients understand the purpose of the discussion that follows the examination.
Author L. ArnoldSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 148 –151 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.526More Less
Background. An appraisal model, a type of formal mentorship programme for a cohort of student doctors, is used at the University of Leeds, UK. The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa implemented an adapted version of the appraisal process that uses fewer resources.
Objective. To explore students' experiences of the appraisal process in order to provide information to medical schools with limited resources, which seek to develop or refine their own mentorship processes.
Methods. A questionnaire containing Likert-type scales and open-ended questions was distributed to students. Students' responses were analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis.
Results. Eighty-seven percent of the students had met with their appraiser once, and only 36% felt that they had built a rapport with their appraiser. Students were more willing to discuss academic problems (87%) and less willing to discuss personal matters (51%) with their appraiser.
Conclusion. Despite failing to build a rapport with their appraisers, students indicated that the chance to discuss academic and personal problems, and their appraisers' advice on study and career matters, had been beneficial. To improve the rapport between students and appraisers a number of suggestions that require few or no additional resources are made.
The NOMA track module on nutrition, human rights and governance : Part 1. Perceptions held by Master's students : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 152 –159 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.553More Less
Background. A module on nutrition, human rights and governance was developed and presented jointly by academic institutions in Norway, South Africa and Uganda, under the NOrway MAsters (NOMA) programme, for their respective Master's degree programmes in nutrition. Consisting of three study units, it was presented consecutively in the three countries, with each study unit building on the previous one.
Objectives. To document the perceptions of participating students on various aspects of the module, informing future curriculum endeavours.
Methods. A mixed methods approach was followed. A module evaluation form completed by students for each study unit was analysed. In-depth telephonic interviews were voice recorded and transcribed. Through an inductive process, emerging themes were used to compile a code list and content analysis of the unstructured data.
Results. An overall positive module valuation by 20 participants (91% response rate) can be ascribed to the module content, enlightening study visits, expertise of lecturers and an interactive teaching style. Logistical issues regarding time management and administrative differences among the academic institutions caused some concerns. Students experienced some resistance against qualitative research in natural science faculties. Students benefited from being exposed to different teaching styles and education systems at universities in different countries. Constructive alignment of teaching and learning activities could be optimised through involvement and empowerment of all relevant lecturers.
Conclusion. Successful implementation of the module not only provides nutrition Master's students with knowledge to operationalise a human rights-based approach during future interactions in their professional practice, but also serves as an example of the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary and transnational collaboration in module development.
The NOMA track module on nutrition, human rights and governance : Part 2. A transnational curriculum using a human rights-based approach to foster key competencies in nutrition professionals : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 160 –165 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.554More Less
Background. In response to the challenge of the global health needs of the 21st century, four academic institutions in Norway, South Africa and Uganda, each offering a Master's degree in nutrition, collaboratively developed the NOrwegian MAsters (NOMA) track module on nutrition, human rights and governance, integrating a human rights-based approach into graduate education in nutrition.
Objective. To capture students' perceptions about the NOMA track module, focusing on the development of key competencies.
Methods. Employing a qualitative approach, 20 (91% response rate) in-depth telephonic interviews were conducted with participating students, voice recorded and transcribed. Through an inductive process, emerging themes were used to compile a code list for content analysis of the transcribed text. Relevant themes were reported according to the professionals' roles described by the CanMEDS competency framework.
Results. Participation in the module enhanced key competencies in the students, e.g. communication skills and the adoption of a holistic approach to interaction with people or communities. Their role as collaborator was enhanced by their learning to embrace diversity and cultural differences and similarities. Students had to adapt to different cultures and educational systems. They were inspired to contribute in diverse contexts and act as agents for change in the organisations in which they may work or act as leaders or co-ordinators during interaction with community groups and policy makers. Higher education institutions offering transnational modules should support lecturers to manage the inherent diversity in the classroom as a way of enhancing student performance.
Conclusion. The development of future transprofessional modules will benefit from the inclusion of desirable key competencies as part of the module outcomes by following a competency by design process.
Professional nurses' perception of their clinical teaching role at a rural hospital in Lesotho : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 166 –168 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.557More Less
Background. Nursing education institutions in Lesotho face an increasing number of enrolments owing to a high demand for professional nurses to work in the community. Enrolments have doubled during the last 3 years, without an increase in teaching resources or staff. Professional nurses in the wards are expected to mentor students and teach the clinical elements of nursing while continuing with their day-to-day clinical duties. Furthermore, professional nurses in Lesotho have not been trained for this clinical teaching role.
Objective. To explore the perceptions of professional nurses with regard to their clinical teaching role in the development of competent nurses.
Methods. A qualitative study was undertaken at a rural hospital in Lesotho. Data were gathered by conducting semi-structured interviews with professional nurses. Interview transcripts were coded and emerging themes identified. Data saturation was reached after eight interview transcripts were analysed.
Results. Four themes representing the perceptions of the professional nurses emerged in the analysis: (i) the clinical teaching role; (ii) the complexities of clinical teaching; (iii) learners have their issues; and (iv) making it work.
Conclusion. Professional nurses understand and appreciate their educational role in the development of competent nurses. This clinical teaching role is performed in difficult circumstances, including administrative challenges, limited resources and staff shortages, while maintaining clinical responsibilities. Despite these challenges, the nurses have remained resilient and solution focused. Nursing education institutions should re-orientate professional nurses with regard to current trends and principles of nursing education to enhance their clinical teaching role.
Allied health professional rural education : Stellenbosch University learners' experiences : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 169 –173 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.578More Less
Background. Rural clinical training is not widely established or documented for allied health sciences (AHS) learners. This article focuses on the experiences of AHS learners from Stellenbosch University's uKwanda Rural Clinical School.
Objective. To explore learners' practices with regard to rural clinical training in the AHS.
Methods. A total of 22 documented reflections and seven educator or learner semi-structured focus group discussions, using critical conversations, were analysed with methods such as textual and thematic analysis and qualitative research software (ATLAS.ti, Germany).
Results. The perception of rural clinical training was reported as an overwhelmingly positive experience. Practices positioned 'rural' as a catalyst for developing learners' emerging identities as policy brokers, and as best when delivered by team participation. Professional education curricula were reported as dependant on: (i) context; (ii) educators; and (iii) how time was managed.
Conclusion. Rural-based learning is a humanising experience for health science learners.
Self-assessment of final-year undergraduate physiotherapy students' literature-searching behaviour, self-perceived knowledge of their own critical appraisal skills and evidence-based practice beliefs : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 174 –177 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.580More Less
Background. Health professionals and new graduates alike are expected to be efficient in applying evidence-based practice. Research and evidence-based practice skills are taught in the research modules at university, but it is not clear whether students translate those skills into clinical practice.
Objective. To determine the self-assessment literature-searching behaviour, self-perceived knowledge of critical appraisal skills and evidence-based practice beliefs of final-year undergraduate physiotherapy students at a university in South Africa.
Methods. This study used a quantitative approach, with a small qualitative component. A convenience sample of the final-year undergraduate physiotherapy students (N=36) registered for the 2012 academic year was approached to participate in the study. Data were collected using an existing questionnaire.
Results. The study yielded a 75% response rate. With regard to literature-searching skills, 30% searched for literature more than once a week, 52% searched only for specific information and most had access to literature. Students received their information from journal articles (85%), the internet and databases. They were slightly confident when it came to literature appraisal and believed that evidence-based practice was essential to their practice (96%), but expressed a need for more training (59%). Their understanding of the evidence-based practice concept was limited because they based their treatment choices on content and other role-models, and related their choices to their previous patient experiences.
Conclusion. Students believed that evidence-based practice was vital, yet their understanding of the concept was restricted when compared with the literature and they expressed a need for further training.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 178 –183 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.586More Less
Background. During a service-learning module, the focus is on the development of reflective competence, which is part of professional competence. The students have to reflect in a structured manner on the service-learning experience to understand and appreciate not only the module and discipline, but also their sense of personal value and social responsibility. By providing structured opportunities for reflection, deeper learning can be facilitated, which enhances competence. Do students benefit from the process of reflection and how should it be measured?
Objective. To determine the usefulness of an assessment tool.
Methods. A documented review of reflection journals made use of a rubric to score the structured reflection of students at a particular service-learning site. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data.
Results. The results showed positive changes in terms of analysis, critical thinking, emotive aspects, social responsibility and self-confidence.
Conclusion. Specific factors were identified that could have affected the reflections, and recommendations are made to increase the effectiveness of the assessment tool and the process of reflection.
Multidisciplinary leadership training for undergraduate health science students may improve Ugandan healthcare : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 184 –188 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.587More Less
Background. Community-based education research and service (COBERS) is a platform for embedding progressive transformative leadership and research-related medical education in Uganda. The leadership development programme (LDP) developed at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Uganda is a key component of COBERS. Health science students at MUST are equipped by means of the LDP with leadership knowledge and skills, and a positive attitude towards leadership and rural communities. The programme involves employing interactive learner-centred education techniques, with the opportunity to implement these skills in a community setting immediately after the training.
Objective. To assess the students' self-reported perception and effectiveness of the precommunity placement LDP at MUST and its impact during the community clinical placement, and to measure the self-reported improvement of students' knowledge and their application of leadership skills in the community. The results of the evaluation will improve and build on this educational programme. The study also evaluated the effectiveness of the preplacement leadership training course for undergraduates at MUST, as reported by students.
Methods. The programme evaluation of the LDP used quantitative pretest and post-test measures and qualitative data from focus group discussions to enrich the evaluation. Data were collected from students before and after the 1-week leadership training course using the same self-administered questionnaire. Variables were then compared to evaluate the impact of the LDP.
Results. Prior to the intervention, only 14% of the participants had ever attended a leadership training session. There was significant self-reported change in the task accomplishment skills, interpersonal relationship skills and quality of leadership.
Conclusion. The results suggest that the LDP may increase leadership skills among health science students to improve healthcare in Uganda. Our study recommends that this leadership programme be considered for use by Ugandan medical training faculties and similar environments elsewhere.
Exploring occupational therapy graduates' conceptualisations of occupational justice in practice : curriculum implications : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 189 –192 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.609More Less
Background. The concept of occupational justice was derived from a social justice perspective in response to a renewed commitment by the occupational therapy profession to address the occupational needs of individuals, groups and communities who experience social injustice. Accordingly, it is acknowledged that education with regard to occupational justice has the deliberate intention of preparing graduates, who would be change agents as critical practitioners. Nonetheless, while occupational therapy education programmes may seek to instil broader professional values, theory covered in the curriculum may not always assure congruent practice.
Objective. To explore how occupational therapy graduates' conceptualisations of occupational justice, as instilled by the occupational therapy curriculum of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, manifested in their practice while undergoing community service.
Methods. Seven occupational therapy graduates were selected to participate in the study through purposive sampling. A descriptive case study of their practice was generated through qualitative methods. Semi-structured interviews, document review and participant observation were used as data collection methods, analysed through a process of inductive thematic analysis.
Results. The findings revealed that while the participants conceptualised occupational justice as broader social change through occupational enablement, they encountered several constraints related to structural and systemic power issues in their practice contexts.
Conclusion. The study supports the utilisation of transformative learning and inter-professional education in developing critical competencies such as agency and political proficiency to assist graduates in dealing with the complexities of practice during community service.
Source: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 193 –195 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.626More Less
Background. Burnout has been studied in several emergency medical services contexts and has been found to be high compared with that found in other health professions. Although burnout among students has been described in several healthcare disciplines, this has not been done in the field of prehospital emergency care.
Objectives. To determine the prevalence of burnout among students in a 4-year university paramedic degree programme and to assess whether there was any significant difference in the prevalence of burnout among students during the 4 years of study.
Methods. In this cross-sectional survey all students enrolled in a 4-year university paramedic degree programme were invited to participate. The questionnaire consisted of 19 questions from the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI), combined with distractor questions. Responses were analysed descriptively and one-way analysis of variance was used to compare CBI scores across the 4 academic years of study.
Results. An 85% (n=93) response rate was obtained. The overall prevalence of burnout was 31%. Mean CBI scores across all academic years of study were highest for personal burnout, followed by work-related burnout and patient care-related burnout. The highest prevalence of students with burnout was in the 4th year, as was the highest prevalence of work-related and personal burnout. The second highest prevalence of students with burnout was in the 1st year, as was the highest prevalence of patient care-related burnout. No significant difference was found in CBI total burnout scores across the 4 years of study.
Conclusion. Although there are no directly comparable data, the prevalence of burnout in this group of students appears to be high, particularly in the 1st and 4th years of study. Steps should be taken to ensure access to social and psychological support to avoid a negative impact on academic success and student wellbeing.
Registrars teaching undergraduate medical students : a pilot study at the University of Pretoria, South Africa : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 196 –199 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.660More Less
Background. Registrars play a vital role in teaching undergraduate (UG) medical students. Previous studies indicate that registrars contribute as much as 30% of medical students' knowledge and that up to 20% of a registrar's time is spent on teaching UG medical students. The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Guide No. 20 defines 12 roles of a teacher, including an on-the-job role-model.
Objective. To evaluate the perception and attitudes of registrars with regard to their role as teachers of UG medical students.
Methods. A questionnaire-based study with qualitative and quantitative aspects was conducted at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Results. Despite numerous attempts, the response rate to the study was very poor, with only 25 registrars participating. This pilot study indicated that registrars were mostly involved with on-the-job training, followed by ward rounds and practical sessions. The attitudes towards teaching included that registrars deemed teaching as beneficial, with only three indicating that it should not be done by registrars. Advantages of teaching included own learning opportunities and gaining confidence in teaching. Registrars' own workload and lack of time hampered teaching. The majority of registrars indicated that receiving training with regard to teaching would be useful.
Conclusion. Our pilot study concurs with international studies, indicating that the benefits of teaching medical students include knowledge acquired by registrars. Studies showed that the knowledge obtained in this manner outweighed that obtained by self-study/attendance of lectures. The on-the-job role-model as part of teaching is applicable to registrars. The international literature indicates that until recently registrars were not offered a formal teaching programme. Our study echoed this, with only one student indicating that it is not necessary, as registrars should not be expected to teach.
An inferential comparison between the capabilities and achievements of 1st-year medical and nursing students at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 200 –202 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.719More Less
Background. Research indicates that academic stressors, living circumstances, working conditions and where students undertake leisure activities affect academic performance, capabilities and achievements (functionings).
Objective. To investigate how 1st-year medical and nursing students perceived their own capabilities compared with their actual achievements (functionings). The article focuses on the achievements (functionings), as these students were admitted through a selection process, indicating their potential capability to succeed.
Methods. In this descriptive, comparative study, all 1st-year medical and nursing students at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa were invited to complete a validated questionnaire to reflect their capabilities (scope) and achievements (outcomes). The questionnaire incorporated seven domains: happiness, achievements, health, intellect, social relations, environment and integrity. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics (frequencies, medians, means, standard deviations and standard errors).
Results. All respondents valued the domains positively with regard to the outcomes (functionings). On average, nursing students valued the domains 17.4% lower than the medical students. Integrity was valued the highest by all. Health scored the lowest in the medical group, and environment (where students study and undertake leisure activities) the lowest in the nursing group.
Conclusions. Medical schools should include wellness in their curricula, limit the degree of physical and emotional exhaustion associated with training, and have realistic expectations of students. Programmes should allocate enough time for students to manage their time well to take part in physical activity and eat healthy foods. Nursing students' work environment should improve. More time should be made available for leisure activities and improvement to students' study environment.
Developing social accountability in 1st-year medical students : a case study from the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, Durban, South Africa : researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 8, pp 203 –207 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.745More Less
Background. Medical schools need to be more socially accountable. The Making a Difference group community service activity (MaD), which is part of the 1st-year medical curriculum at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, aims to make students more responsible, responsive and accountable to community needs. Small groups of students engage with an organisation of their choice that works with a disadvantaged community. They spend 16 hours in appropriate community service, which includes an HIV and AIDS education activity.
Objective. To describe and categorise the MaD process of developing social accountability in medical students.
Methods. This case study draws on routinely collected administrative and qualitative data obtained from reflective journals kept by each student. A document analysis was undertaken of the posters produced by each group that described their reciprocal learning from this experience. Ethical approval for the ongoing evaluation of the undergraduate programme was obtained.
Results. The MaD gave students exposure to authentic experiences through socially accountable activities. Enabled by the structured and stepwise MaD approach, groups demonstrated responsibility in identifying and engaging a local community. They developed a simple plan of action that was responsive to community needs. At each stage, they demonstrated accountability to the various stakeholders. Students reflected on the social determinants of health and disease and described MaD as a 'humbling and huge learning experience'.
Conclusion. Through MaD, 1st-year medical students engaged in practical, socially accountable activities with members of disadvantaged communities. They developed some understanding of a population perspective on health and the social determinants that influence health and disease in a community.