Identifying challenges faced by undergraduate radiography students of Makerere University during their clinical rotations at Mulago National Referral Hospital
Ahereza, Martin George
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Background: The education of radiography in Africa has lagged behind the rest of the world, despite nearly starting at around the same time. In Radiography, clinical rotations are of paramount importance in the acquisition of key competencies i.e. knowledge, skill and professional attributes. However, it has been noted that there may be challenges faced by radiography students during clinical rotation which has resulted in neglect of various modalities and a high student attrition rate. There is scarcity of similar research in the East African region particularly Uganda hence the need for a study aimed at, Identifying Challenges Faced by Undergraduate Radiography Students of Makerere University during Their Clinical Rotations at MNRH. Methodology: The study was a cross-sectional one using quantitative techniques, involving 58 undergraduate radiography students from second to fourth year at MAK, CHS. Simple random sampling method was used. The inclusion criteria was those who had had clinical rotations for at least a week at MNRH and the exclusion criteria were those with prior qualifications in radiography. Initially pretested, self-administered questionnaires were used, checked and coded. The data from questionnaires was processed and analysed manually with computers and presented as tables and graphs. Ethical approval was obtained from the Research and Ethics Committee at CHS and informed consent was sought from the participants. The results were disseminated to the CHS and the Library. Results: Of the respondents 47(81.0%) were males and 11(19.0%) were females. Majority were aged 22-25 years, 33(56.9%) and single 55(95.8%). 58(100%) had practiced radiography at MNRH, mostly practicing X-ray and ultrasound modalities, with nuclear medicine 0(0%) not practiced at all. The modality in which participants reported adequate time practicing was ultrasound 28(43.3 %), followed by X-ray 18(31.0%). Generally, a large number of respondents reported resources like consumables were inadequate. The study found out that the human resource appeared to be demotivated and did not orient the students, which highly affected their practice. Conclusions and recommendations: Ultrasound and X-ray are the only adequately practiced modalities by undergraduate radiography students. Resources for teaching students were inadequate. There is need for a skills laboratory for radiography at MAK. Studies should be done to ascertain the reasons for the inadequacy of resources.