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- Volume 6, Issue 2, 2014
African Journal of Health Professions Education - Volume 6, Issue 2, 2014
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2014
Evaluation of clinical sites used for training undergraduate physiotherapy students : factors that may impact on learning : supplement 1 - researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 6, pp 207 –210 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.528More Less
Background. Clinical education forms an integral part of the training of undergraduate healthcare students. Clinical learning and education can be influenced by a number of factors.
Objectives. To evaluate clinical service sites used to train undergraduate physiotherapy students at Stellenbosch University, in terms of: (i) the suitability of the site as a training facility; and (ii) the range of clinical problems students encounter at these clinical service sites.
Methods. A descriptive study was conducted. Data were gathered through structured clinical site visits, staff interviews and student record sheets documenting the number and type of patients students encountered at the clinical service sites.
Results. Seven of the nine clinical sites used for training were evaluated. Close proximity to the Faculty was an identified strength of three of the sites. There were opportunities for the expansion of multidisciplinary services and group treatment classes. There were safety concerns at most of the sites visited. The number of qualified physiotherapists was low and there was also a lack of basic equipment needed for patient management at more than half of the clinical sites. Students' exposure to the various fields of physiotherapy varied greatly at the tertiary service settings versus primary healthcare settings. On average students saw only two patients per day during a 5-hour clinical day.
Conclusion. The suitability of healthcare service sites for training undergraduate students should be carefully evaluated prior to commencing training at these sites. The development of good clinical training sites for undergraduate healthcare students requires the availability of adequate resources such as equipment, an adequate complement of clinical staff and effective measures to ensure student and patient safety.
Learning experiences of physiotherapy students during primary healthcare clinical placements : supplement 1 - researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 6, pp 211 –216 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.530More Less
Background. Primary healthcare (PHC) is necessary to address the health needs of communities. It creates the opportunity for the attainment of curricular outcomes through community-based education. Appropriate learning opportunities are needed to enable students to develop the necessary skills to attain these outcomes.
Objectives. To describe the learning opportunities occurring during physiotherapy PHC placements and to explore the role the learning environment and learning opportunities played in attaining the outcomes for the placements.
Methods. A descriptive case study was conducted using different strategies for data collection and analysis. Participants completed a record sheet to indicate time spent on different activities. Observational site evaluations, individual interviews with site representatives and focus-group discussions with students were conducted to explore their perceptions about PHC clinical placements.
Results. The results indicated that the participants valued PHC placements as powerful learning environments. However, students did not have the opportunity to engage satisfactorily in activities that foster the principles of PHC. Participants acknowledged that several resource constraints existed in this context; however, they identified several potential valuable learning opportunities. Students suggested curriculum-specific strategies needed to prepare them for PHC, and recognised the need for healthcare services in the communities they served.
Conclusion. While the PHC learning environment was rich and authentic, learning opportunities need to be optimised to enable students to fully reach the outcomes for the placements. Learning opportunities need to be crafted to foster collaborative learning, interdisciplinary learning, community engagement and empowerment.
Physiotherapy students' perceptions about the learning opportunities included in an introductory clinical module : supplement 1 - researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 6, pp 217 –221 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.524More Less
Background. Clinical education forms a core component of physiotherapy training. However, the transition from the classroom to clinical learning environments can be challenging. An introductory clinical placement with appropriate learning opportunities is therefore important to ensure that learning outcomes are reached.
Objectives. To determine second-year physiotherapy students' perceptions about the learning opportunities provided in an introductory clinical module and to determine their perception about the attainment of the learning outcomes.
Methods. A descriptive case study was undertaken, using mixed methodology. All 39 second-year physiotherapy students were invited to participate. Data were collected using a self-developed questionnaire which focused on the outcomes of the module and the perceived value of the learning opportunities. A focus group discussion was conducted with a random subset (n=15) of the population.
Results. The response rate to the questionnaire was 79% (n=31). Peer learning by observing senior students, demonstrations by clinical lecturers and the assessment of specific skills were perceived by students to be particularly useful. However, several learning opportunities did not contribute effectively to learning. Participants highlighted a transitional process between classroom and clinical environments during which they became aware and could respond mentally to the demands of a clinical placement.
Conclusions. The clinical education introductory module provided valuable opportunities, where students learnt productively in a non-threatening learning environment. Junior students linked theoretical and practical concepts to clinical implementation. Peer mentoring and progressive mastering were valuable learning strategies. Reflection and students' emotional adjustment to clinical practice are topics for further investigation.
Benefits of curriculum renewal : the Stellenbosch University physiotherapy experience : supplement 1 - researchSource: African Journal of Health Professions Education 6, pp 222 –226 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.519More Less
Background. Driven by a changing healthcare environment, the Division of Physiotherapy (Stellenbosch University) reduced core content and adopted a multimodal approach to teaching and learning. The benefits of curriculum renewal, however, are seldom investigated despite ongoing internal appraisal. Evaluation of the BSc Physiotherapy programme was considered incomplete without determining the worth of the programme.
Objectives. To determine whether there was a change in students' perception of the impact of the programme on personal development; and whether the programme prepared them for community service.
Methods. A descriptive comparative desktop analysis was conducted in which the data from the Faculty's Programme Evaluation process were compared between students enrolled in the old curriculum (2006) and students enrolled in the new curriculum (2011) using pooled data and t-tests to compare responses between the two groups. A level of significance was set at p<0.05.
Results. A significant increase in scores was noted for various graduate attributes developed as a result of the programme, such as critical thinking, clinical reasoning, communication and sourcing information (p<0.01). Similarly, students scored their perceptions related to programme structure significantly higher (p<0.01). No change was reported regarding students' ability to maintain a balance between studies and other activities. Scores pertaining to their perception of readiness for community service or professional practice remained the same with both cohorts believing they were well prepared.
Conclusion. The renewed format seemed to benefit students greatly in assisting the development of graduate attributes. Students were significantly more satisfied with the structure of the renewed curriculum and - despite extensive changes - the principles-based multimodal approach to teaching and learning was perceived as effective for preparing students for community service. Programmes undertaking curriculum renewal should not only focus on the curriculum content but also develop a variety of learning opportunities to facilitate the development of graduate attributes. The next cycle of evaluation should however reflect on clinical practice.