oa South African Journal of Physiotherapy - Physiotherapy students perceptions of an innovative approach to clinical practice orientation

Volume 58, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0379-6175
  • E-ISSN: 2410-8219



The transition from the classroom to clinical practice is stressful for many students. In the current situation in South Africa with the shortages of clinicians� posts in hospitals, this transition is even more difficult given the reduced time that clinicians have for supervising undergraduate students. The University of Stellenbosch initiated structured peer-led introduction to clinical education (SPLICE), during which senior physiotherapy students orientate second year students to clinical practice. The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of all of the second, third and fourth year students who took part in these SPLICE sessions. This information was captured using a questionnaire with open and closed questions. The response of all of the students was extremely positive. Common to all cohorts of students was the opinion of the motivational benefits of the sessions as well as the opinion that their confidence increased. Students in the various years of study differed in the ways in which they felt more confident. Closely linked were those comments referring to a sense of increased preparedness for clinical practice and a positive learning environment. A positive change in attitude towards clinical practice was also noted in many second year students. Further research is needed into the effect that SPLICE might have had on the second year students when they enter clinical practice as third year students. The role and opinions of patients during these sessions, and indeed during any clinical education sessions, including clinical examinations, needs further investigation

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