Original Research

Decentralised clinical training in optometry: Student perspectives

Rekha Hansraj, Sduduzile Buthelezi, Ziyaad Cassimjee, Faiza Haffejee, Nomthandazo Masondo, Nomfundo Ntshangase, Akshay Sonakjee, Mthokozeleni Xulu, France Nxumalo
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 81, No 1 | a742 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v81i1.742 | © 2022 Rekha Hansraj, Sduduzile Buthelezi, Ziyaad Cassimjee, Faiza Haffejee, Nomthandazo Masondo, Nomfundo Ntshangase, Akshay Sonakjee, Mthokozeleni Xulu, France Nxumalo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 February 2022 | Published: 08 November 2022

About the author(s)

Rekha Hansraj, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Sduduzile Buthelezi, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Ziyaad Cassimjee, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Faiza Haffejee, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Nomthandazo Masondo, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Nomfundo Ntshangase, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Akshay Sonakjee, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Mthokozeleni Xulu, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
France Nxumalo, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Decentralised clinical training (DCT) allows for training outside of central academic sites to within district-based ones with the expectation of enhanced exposure translating into improved competency of students.

Aim: To determine student perspectives and experiences with the DCT model in clinical training for optometry.

Setting: Data were collected using an online survey created with Google Forms.

Methods: An exploratory, descriptive, case-based design using an online questionnaire consisting of a five-category Likert scale was applied in this study. Saturated sampling was utilised to select participants.

Results: Most respondents agreed on the acceptability of accommodation (83%) and amenities (85%), but some dissatisfaction with safety (22%), cleanliness (39%) and particularly Internet access (68%) was noted. Onsite equipment was found to be adequate (67%) and in good working order (78%), including general agreement that these aspects enhanced clinical training (72%). A positive impact was also agreed upon by the respondents on important critical cross-field outcomes including confidence (89%), empathy (80%) and teamwork (78%). Clinical training in ocular pathology was found to be better than training in other specialist skills possibly because of lack of appropriate resources (equipment and management devices). Respondents agreed that supervisors were professional (87%), approachable (87%) and key to the learning experience (86%).

Conclusion: It can be concluded that DCT placements facilitated overall positive experiences with respect to accommodation, facilities, transport and clinical training, especially in ocular pathology. Supervisors play an important role in the learning during DCT placements.

 


Keywords

optometry; student perspective; decentralised clinical training; clinical training; public sector

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