Short Research Report
Peer-assisted learning in the prehospital educational setting in South Africa
Background. Clinical learning is an important component of health professions training. Peer-assisted learning (PAL) involves students who work in the clinical learning domain, often with their peers. There is a paucity of literature related to PAL in the South African (SA) context.
Objectives. To explore the perspectives of SA prehospital emergency care personnel regarding PAL.
Methods. A cross-sectional design used a purpose-designed online survey to gather data from qualified prehospital emergency care personnel. Participation was invited by emailing persons registered on a privately managed database. The questionnaire was available for 2 months after the initial email had been sent. The questionnaire used Likert-type scales to measure participant perceptions of specific aspects related to PAL. An open-ended question gathered data on participant perceptions of PAL.
Results. Participants recognised PAL as a contributor to improved theoretical and practical academic performance, increased confidence, better debriefing and creating a platform for future relationships, both professionally and socially. Most participants reported a positive relationship with their PAL partners. The presence of a PAL partner made participants more comfortable during hostile or unsafe situations.
Conclusions. PAL was positively viewed by participants and the environment created by PAL was perceived to enhance learning, debriefing and confidence and to improve theoretical and practical assessment results. We recommend that students are included in the PAL partner allocation process. Further research should include PAL in a larger spread of health professions in the African setting.
L Gevers, Department of Emergency Medical Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa
A Makkink, Department of Emergency Medical Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa
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Date published: 2020-03-31
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