'I do and I understand': The importance of reflective placements for the self-perceived work readiness of health sciences students

Giriraj Singh Shekhawat, Sean Sturm, Annette Dunham

Abstract


POPLHLTH 302: Health Service Placement is a community health placement program that forms the capstone course for the Bachelor in Health Sciences (BHSc) at the University of Auckland. It aims to enable Population Health students to develop through experience the competencies that they will need to be employed in a broad range of roles in the health sector, including health policy analysis, health management, health information and health promotion. It provides students with the opportunity to gain a critical understanding of an organisation through day-to-day engagement with the provision of health services, and thereby to transition from university to work and to develop life-long learning attitudes and skills. Eighty-three students enrolled in the course completed a questionnaire before and after their placement about their skills, confidence and readiness to participate in the health workforce, and their knowledge of it and the health needs of the NZ population. A mixed methods analysis of the data confirmed that students’ perceptions of their work-readiness improved over the course of the placement, in particular, where transferable skills such as confidence, time management, networking, the application of theory in practice, and team work were concerned.


Keywords


experiential learning; work readiness; reflective practicum; health sciences; higher education

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21153/jtlge2017vol8no1art655

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