Evaluating an isiXhosa clinical communication course at a health sciences faculty

Du Plessis, Madelé (2017-03)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2017

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : For healthcare professionals the ability to communicate in the language of their patients is of prime importance. When language barriers between the healthcare professional and the patient occur, effective communication cannot take place, and, in turn, high quality care cannot be delivered. Many medical schools implement language programmes to equip students with the required language skills. However, these language programmes often tend to focus on language use in general situations, rather than focusing on clinical communication. Furthermore, these programmes do not necessarily comply with the requirements of the communicator competency of the CanMEDS framework. There is thus a need to evaluate the effectiveness of such language programmes. The aim of this study was to determine whether the isiXhosa clinical communication course implemented at Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is enabling students to communicate in the language of their patients. In addition, the research aimed to determine whether the communication course effectively contributes to the development of the communicator competency of the CanMEDS framework. Data was gathered by means of individual interviews, questionnaires, observations, as well as document analysis. Two distinct populations were sampled, namely students and lecturers involved in the isiXhosa clinical communication course. The students included Occupational Therapy (third year) students, Human Nutrition (third year) students, and Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy (fourth year) students. The findings indicate that the course material provided to students is not fully aligned with the requirements of the communicator competency. Therefore, students only have limited knowledge and vocabulary in isiXhosa. However, even though students have not acquired sufficient isiXhosa vocabulary and knowledge needed to communicate in a clinical context, they are still able to apply what they have learnt, enabling them to establish a positive relationship with patients.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Vir gesondheidsdeskundiges is dit belangrik om in die taal van hul pasiënte te kan kommunikeer. Taalstruikelblokke kan lei tot oneffektiewe kommunikasie tussen gesondheidsdeskundige en pasiënt, en gevolglik kan hoë kwaliteitsorg nie voorsien word nie. Terwyl verskeie mediese skole taalprogramme implimenteer om vir studente die nodige taalvaardighede aan te leer, dek hierdie taalprogramme meestal taalgebruik in algemene situasies, in plaas daarvan om op kliniese kommunikasie te fokus. Hierdie programme voldoen ook nie noodwendig aan die vereistes van die ‘kommunikasievaardigheid’ van die ‘CanMEDS’ raamwerk nie. Daar is dus die behoefte om die effektiwiteit van sulke taalprogramme te evalueer. Die doel van hierdie studie was om te bepaal of die isiXhosa kliniese kommunikasiekursus by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch se Fakulteit Geneeskunde en Gesondheidswetenskappe studente in staat stel om in die taal van hul pasiënte te kommunikeer. Hierbenewens het die studie ook ten doel gehad om te bepaal of die kommunikasiekursus effektief bydra tot die ontwikkeling van die ‘kommunikasievaardigheid’ van die ‘CanMEDS’ raamwerk. Data is ingesamel deur middel van individuele onderhoude, vraelyste, observasies, asook dokumentanalise. Twee populasiegroepe is ingesluit, naamlik studente en dosente betrokke by die isiXhosa kliniese kommunikasiekursus. Die studente het Arbeidsterapiestudente (derdejaar), Dieetkundestudente (derdejaar), en Spraak-Taal en Gehoorterapiestudente (vierdejaar) ingesluit. Resultate toon dat die kursusmateriaal wat aan studente voorsien word nie volledig in lyn is met die vereistes van die ‘kommunikasievaardigheid’ nie. Studente het dus ‘n beperkte isiXhosa woordeskat en kennis. Al het studente nie voldoende kennis en woordeskat om in die kliniese konteks te kommunikeer nie, is hul steeds in staat om dít wat hulle geleer het toe te pas en sodoende ’n positiewe verhouding met pasiënte te ontwikkel.

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