Browsing by Author "Phalwane, Motlalepula Grace"
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- ItemPerceptions of newly-qualified oral healthcare professionals about their exposure to service learning in their final year of training at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2019-12) Phalwane, Motlalepula Grace; McNamee, Laksini Sandhya; Postma, T. C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Centre for Health Professions Education.ENGLISH SUMMARY : The main purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of oral health professionals from Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) regarding the impact of an undergraduate Service Learning (SL) module on their current practice. A case study design was used to investigate the perceptions of newly-qualified oral healthcare professionals about their exposure to service learning in their final year of training. The participants’ socio-demographic variables were also explored to provide insight into factors that may impact on long-term application of SL principles, for example, age denoting maturity of the individual and previous exposure to SL that may yield future interest in community service. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in English, for a duration of 7-30 minutes for each participant. The researcher-administered interview guide comprising five items, with both close-ended and open-ended questions was used to interview participants. A total of 22 study participants from the Bachelor of Dental Therapy, Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Bachelor of Oral Health participated in the study. The key research question was, “What are the perceptions of oral health professionals regarding the impact of SL on their practice?” The participants indicated that SL is a worthy activity that exposed the students to the real world of dentistry, and provides them with the exposure that prepares them for work actualities, which the traditional didactic methods of teaching and learning could not cover. Moreover, the study also highlighted that SL had benefited the participants in their compassion for clients, as well as making them socially reflective and accountable to communities while maintaining quality patient care. Respondents suggested that SL fostered their communication skills, improved their confidence, self-awareness and improved their abilities to make independent professional decisions. Despite the benefits that SL offers, the study participants also revealed some challenges of the SL programme at SMU. The concerns raised included the short duration of the SL programme, the limited coverage of communities by SL and limited opportunity to experience SL, as it is only offered to the final year students. Participants made several recommendations for improving the SL programme. These recommendations include the upgrade of the SL program and the incorporation of feasible and sensible aspects that were lacking in the programme. The study proposes further investigations on SL approaches in different environments.