Browsing by Author "Van Niekerk, Liezel"
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- ItemExploring medical laboratory scientist students’ experiences during their fourth year clinical practice period(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018-03) Van Niekerk, Liezel; Archer, Elize; Volschenk, Mariette; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Centre for Health Professions Education.ENGLISH SUMMARY : Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) recently introduced a new degree course for professionals of laboratory medicine. The revision of the qualification has led to the re-evaluation and restructuring of the clinical practical period (CPP) by organizations that accommodate the students during their fourth year. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of medical laboratory scientist students in a private pathology laboratory in the Western Cape, South Africa. An embedded aim of this research was the optimization of the fourth year programme. A qualitative approach, guided by an interpretive paradigm and exploratory design, was used in this study. Focus group interviews were conducted with three groups of students of medical laboratory sciences. These included students that were either in the process of completing their CPP at the time of the study or recent graduates that completed the CPP during the years that preceded the study. Semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted, recorded and the audio-recorded data was transcribed verbatim and coded through inductive data analysis to identify themes and subthemes. Three themes were derived from the data analysis, which represent the factors that affected student learning during the CPP namely ‘teaching-learning dynamics’; ‘workplace dynamics’ and ‘suggestions for overall improvement’. The major findings of the research revealed that excessive workload due to perceived staff shortages was the most significant contributing factor that affected the students’ learning. The benefit of peer assisted learning and interaction with positive role models of laboratory medicine was also highlighted. Insights into the different experiences of the MLS students provided information to address challenges students face during the CPP and how current clinical laboratory experiences contributed to students' learning and readiness for practice. Suggestions for reviewing and restructuring of current practices from both industry and university perspectives should be considered and implemented. Improved preparation and exposure to the laboratory prior to the fourth year practice period might help to optimize the CPP for future professionals of laboratory medicine.