Research

Allied health professional rural education: Stellenbosch University learners’ experiences

M Pillay, J Bester, R Blaauw, A Harper, A Msindwana, J Muller, L Philips

Abstract


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.


Authors' affiliations

M Pillay, Division of Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town (currently: Discipline of Speech-Language Pathology, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban)

J Bester, Division of Occupational Therapy, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town

R Blaauw, Division of Human Nutrition, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town

A Harper, Division of Human Nutrition, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town

A Msindwana, Division of Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town

J Muller, Allied Health Sciences: uKwanda Centre for Rural Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town

L Philips, Division of Human Nutrition, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town

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Keywords

Term 1: Rural clinical training; Term 2: Allied health science learners; Term 3: Human Nutrition, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech, Language and Hearing; Term 4: Humanising curricular

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2016;8(2):169 - 173. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i2.578

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-01-11
Date published: 2016-09-13

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