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Title: Experiential learning experiences of emergency medical care students at a selected University in KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Smith, Michelle 
Issue Date: 2018

Experiential learning is a requirement as stipulated by the Health Professions Council of South Africa’s Professional Board for Emergency Care. The aim is to amalgamate the practical and theoretical components of the Bachelor of Health Sciences Emergency Medical Care programme in order to produce an independent practitioner capable of handling any emergency situation to which they may be exposed. Students are to complete prescribed hours of experiential learning throughout their four years of study as regulated by the Health Professions Council of South Africa’s Professional Board for Emergency Care. In addition to these hours, students are expected to perform a certain expected number of clinical skills prior to registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa’s Professional Board for Emergency Care.

The aim of this study to was to both explore and describe the experiential learning experiences of Emergency Medical Care students at a selected university in KwaZulu-Natal.

This study employed the qualitative phenomenology design set in the interpretative paradigm. Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews with a total of 29 interviews conducted. Participants were students from the Department of Emergency Medical Care at a University of Technology in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The data collected were interpreted using thematic analysis.

The findings of this study discovered that although experiential learning is an integral part of amalgamating theory and practice to produce paramedics capable of treating patients in any emergency situation, certain shortfalls exist. These shortfalls were identified in the form of three distinct themes being skill exposure, clinical supervision and communication.

These findings cannot be generalised to all universities countrywide but may enable educators to identify mutual areas which require improvement in specific universities. By identifying these areas, changes can be made which may benefit all students in the respective Departments of Emergency Medical Care.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Health Sciences in Emergency Medical Care, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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