Undergraduate students’ choices around community service and internship: A single faculty study

South African Journal of Physiotherapy

Field Value
Title Undergraduate students’ choices around community service and internship: A single faculty study
Creator Talberg, Heather Dayaram, Tamara Geel, Sarah Mthembu, Sivuyile Nthangeni, Rofhiwa Pillay, Savannah Burgess, Theresa L.
Subject Health Sciences; Health and Rehabilitation Sciences; Physiotherapy; Medicine; Occupational Therapy; Communication Sciences and Disorders undergraduate training; internship; community service; professional support; MBChB; health and rehabilitation
Description Background: The Internship and Community Service Programme (ICSP) places newly graduated health professionals for a compulsory training period. Universities adopt multiple strategies to encourage students to select rural placements for ICSP.Objectives: This study describes ICSP choices among final-year MBChB and Health and Rehabilitation Science students at a South African university and the factors influencing their decisions.Method: A cross-sectional qualitative descriptive study was conducted using a self-developed online questionnaire. Eighty-five final-year students were recruited.Results: Most respondents (n = 38, 45.8%) chose the Western Cape (WC) as their first choice placement. There was a significant difference between MBChB and other health science students’ choice of level of healthcare (χ = 10.39, p = 0.006), with MBChB less likely to choose primary healthcare (PHC) level placements. District and tertiary care options were perceived as better sites for learning and practice, while PHC and rural sites, considered underresourced and understaffed, were avoided. Although MBChB students indicated a lower preference for rural placements, this was not significant.Factors influencing ICSP application decisions included professional support, work environment, and social and personal considerations.Conclusion: Students’ placement choices were based on their perceptions of clinical exposure, learning opportunities, mentorship and supervision. Placements closer to home were preferred. UG clinical exposure and rural background seem to have some impact on choice but need further investigation.Clinical implications: Universities should continue to explore ways to improve students’ readiness for practice in underresourced settings. Improved exposure to rural and PHC sites during training could encourage better uptake during ICSP placement. 
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2024-04-29
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Questionnaire
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajp.v80i1.1980
Source South African Journal of Physiotherapy; Vol 80, No 1 (2024); 11 pages 2410-8219 0379-6175
Language eng
The following web links (URLs) may trigger a file download or direct you to an alternative webpage to gain access to a publication file format of the published article:

https://sajp.co.za/index.php/sajp/article/view/1980/3569 https://sajp.co.za/index.php/sajp/article/view/1980/3570 https://sajp.co.za/index.php/sajp/article/view/1980/3571 https://sajp.co.za/index.php/sajp/article/view/1980/3572
Coverage South Africa Undergraduate Studies Gender, Age, Marital Status, Department of Study
Rights Copyright (c) 2024 Heather Talberg, Tamara Dayaram, Sarah Geel, Sivuyile Mthembu, Rofhiwa Nthangeni, Savannah Pillay, Theresa L. Burgess https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0