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Title: A needs assessment for training physiotherapists in fieldwork supervision
Authors: Meilak, Shawn
Keywords: Physical therapists
Graduate students -- Supervision of -- Malta
Health occupations students -- Malta
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: Meilak S. (2009). A needs assessment for training physiotherapists in fieldwork supervision (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: Currently within the Physiotherapy profession in Malta, physiotherapists who provide student supervision are not being provided with any training in fieldwork supervision. Consequently, lack of experience and absence of training frequently leaves the fieldwork supervisor searching for direction. Thus the aim of this study was to determine whether Maltese physiotherapists acknowledge the need for training in student supervision. In order to reach this aim, the current practices and the attitudes of the people involved in the process of fieldwork supervision were obtained and where possible compared with the international scene. Qualitative data was collected via one-to-one interviews with 12 physiotherapists, 3 members of the Physiotherapy Management together with 2 members of the Education Institution. Additionally, two focus groups were carried out with the 10 students in their final year of studies who accepted to take part in this study. Results showed that the majority of respondents felt that fieldwork supervision may increase workloads and can be perceived as a burden. However, there was a common interest of improving this work practice. The most important needs that came out of this study were the needs for training in fieldwork supervision together with a framework whereby clear guidelines can be set. Trained fieldwork supervisors, apart from increasing the quality of fieldwork supervision, may also help the management to allocate workloads properly. Since fieldwork supervisors are also required to assess students at the end of their clinical placements better communication between the main stakeholders involved in the process of fieldwork supervision was also considered essential. There are a number of issues arising from the findings in this study that provide important recommendations to management. The issue of lack of communication between the clinicians and the Education Institution is an area which needs to be addressed in order to enhance teamwork leading to benefits to the whole profession. When these two entities are in harmony it will be easier to develop clear guidelines on what is expected in the clinical field including objectives and standards whilst grading students. On their part Physiotherapy Managers should promote a culture of support for practice-based learning within their departments and involve the whole team in the process. Finally, all respondents perceived that training in fieldwork supervision is a necessity. It is essential therefore that the management invests in training fieldwork supervisors thus contributing to a better future workforce within the Physiotherapy profession in Malta.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacHSc - 2009

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