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Student perceptions of a clinical placement within a therapeutic community

Amorin-Woods, L., Cascioli, V. and Parkin-Smith, G. (2017) Student perceptions of a clinical placement within a therapeutic community. Chiropractic Journal of Australia, 45 (4). pp. 270-286.

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Objective: Chiropractic programmes adopt service-learning outreach placements to facilitate, among other traits, student communication and interaction skills, social responsibility and a philosophy of caring. This mixed-methods study describes the extent to which students believed a service-learning clinical immersion placement met these objectives.

Methods: Students (n=42) in the fifth and final year of a 5-year chiropractic undergraduate program spent at least ten afternoon sessions per trimester at a residential therapeutic community outreach placement. Most of the students (91%) completed the Service Experience Questionnaire (SEQ), a survey instrument consisting of a number of closed-ended items, as well as open-ended qualitative reflections after their experience.

Results: A majority (92%) felt that the experience was educational. This placement also enhanced students’ awareness of others in need (92%), that the placement highlighted the importance of respect for all people (95%), empathy for the disadvantaged (84%), and provided them with an opportunity to improve their communication skills (87%).
Conclusion: These results support the utility of an outreach clinical placement to help meet the educational objectives of the chiropractic undergraduate programme.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Health Professions
Publisher: Chiropractors Association of Australia
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