Several strategies for clinical partners and universities are perceived to enhance physiotherapy student engagement in non-metropolitan clinical placements

a mixed-methods study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Question: What strategies can clinical partners and universities implement to enhance physiotherapy student engagement in non-metropolitan clinical placements? Design: Mixed-method research design combining focus groups and survey. Participants: First-year physiotherapy students from one university at the commencement of their course (n = 26); third-year and fourth-year students who had completed a
non-metropolitan placement (n = 39 survey, n = 25 focus group); and clinical educators from three nonmetropolitan clinical sites (n = 15). Intervention: The cohort of first-year physiotherapy students was surveyed to establish their perceptions regarding non-metropolitan clinical education placements. A survey and four focus groups were conducted with third-year and fourth-year students after they had
attended non-metropolitan clinical placements, to explore recent experiences. Two focus groups were conducted with clinical educators regarding student engagement at non-metropolitan placements. Quantitative data were summarised with descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis, synthesising the perspectives of students and clinical educators. Results: At the commencement of their physiotherapy course, interest in undertaking a non-metropolitan clinical placement was higher for students with a non-metropolitan upbringing. Concerns about attending non-metropolitan sites included finances, change in living situation, and perceived inferior quality of clinical education. After completing a non-metropolitan placement, four themes were identified in an analysis of student and educator perceptions: individual factors, clinical experience, logistical challenges and strategies for success. Conclusion: Strategies that were perceived to enhance student engagement in non-metropolitan placements included: tailoring preparation for students, paired rather than individual placements, and near-peer presentations for physiotherapy students prior to undertaking non-metropolitan placements. Dedicated clinical coordinator positions at nonmetropolitan sites and assistance in accessing affordable accommodation are likely to positively influence the student experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physiotherapy
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Clinical placements
  • Non-metropolitan
  • Physiotherapy
  • Rural and regional
  • Student

Cite this

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title = "Several strategies for clinical partners and universities are perceived to enhance physiotherapy student engagement in non-metropolitan clinical placements: a mixed-methods study",
abstract = "Question: What strategies can clinical partners and universities implement to enhance physiotherapy student engagement in non-metropolitan clinical placements? Design: Mixed-method research design combining focus groups and survey. Participants: First-year physiotherapy students from one university at the commencement of their course (n = 26); third-year and fourth-year students who had completed anon-metropolitan placement (n = 39 survey, n = 25 focus group); and clinical educators from three nonmetropolitan clinical sites (n = 15). Intervention: The cohort of first-year physiotherapy students was surveyed to establish their perceptions regarding non-metropolitan clinical education placements. A survey and four focus groups were conducted with third-year and fourth-year students after they hadattended non-metropolitan clinical placements, to explore recent experiences. Two focus groups were conducted with clinical educators regarding student engagement at non-metropolitan placements. Quantitative data were summarised with descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis, synthesising the perspectives of students and clinical educators. Results: At the commencement of their physiotherapy course, interest in undertaking a non-metropolitan clinical placement was higher for students with a non-metropolitan upbringing. Concerns about attending non-metropolitan sites included finances, change in living situation, and perceived inferior quality of clinical education. After completing a non-metropolitan placement, four themes were identified in an analysis of student and educator perceptions: individual factors, clinical experience, logistical challenges and strategies for success. Conclusion: Strategies that were perceived to enhance student engagement in non-metropolitan placements included: tailoring preparation for students, paired rather than individual placements, and near-peer presentations for physiotherapy students prior to undertaking non-metropolitan placements. Dedicated clinical coordinator positions at nonmetropolitan sites and assistance in accessing affordable accommodation are likely to positively influence the student experience.",
keywords = "Clinical placements, Non-metropolitan, Physiotherapy, Rural and regional, Student",
author = "Francis-Cracknell, {Alison Heather} and Shari Maver and Fiona Kent and Emma Edwards and Ross Iles",
year = "2017",
month = "10",
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pages = "243--249",
journal = "Journal of Physiotherapy",
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AU - Kent, Fiona

AU - Edwards, Emma

AU - Iles, Ross

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N2 - Question: What strategies can clinical partners and universities implement to enhance physiotherapy student engagement in non-metropolitan clinical placements? Design: Mixed-method research design combining focus groups and survey. Participants: First-year physiotherapy students from one university at the commencement of their course (n = 26); third-year and fourth-year students who had completed anon-metropolitan placement (n = 39 survey, n = 25 focus group); and clinical educators from three nonmetropolitan clinical sites (n = 15). Intervention: The cohort of first-year physiotherapy students was surveyed to establish their perceptions regarding non-metropolitan clinical education placements. A survey and four focus groups were conducted with third-year and fourth-year students after they hadattended non-metropolitan clinical placements, to explore recent experiences. Two focus groups were conducted with clinical educators regarding student engagement at non-metropolitan placements. Quantitative data were summarised with descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis, synthesising the perspectives of students and clinical educators. Results: At the commencement of their physiotherapy course, interest in undertaking a non-metropolitan clinical placement was higher for students with a non-metropolitan upbringing. Concerns about attending non-metropolitan sites included finances, change in living situation, and perceived inferior quality of clinical education. After completing a non-metropolitan placement, four themes were identified in an analysis of student and educator perceptions: individual factors, clinical experience, logistical challenges and strategies for success. Conclusion: Strategies that were perceived to enhance student engagement in non-metropolitan placements included: tailoring preparation for students, paired rather than individual placements, and near-peer presentations for physiotherapy students prior to undertaking non-metropolitan placements. Dedicated clinical coordinator positions at nonmetropolitan sites and assistance in accessing affordable accommodation are likely to positively influence the student experience.

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