The Impact Of Internship Programme And Its Effects On The Physiotherapy Practice In Nigeria

Ayodele Teslim Onigbinde

Abstract


Background: The recent introduction of one year internship training programme is one of the few steps taken to update standard and knowledge of upcoming physiotherapists in Nigeria. It is a compulsory one-year clinical training post-graduation from the university under the supervision of the clinicians. The major importance of introducing the new policy is to promote acquisition and utilization of new skills, and as well, develop skills and confidence already acquired during undergraduate days.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess and evaluate the new internship-training programme considering welfare package like salary and wages, accommodation, employment opportunities, acceptability and working environment. The study also evaluated the opinion of the supervisors on the impact of the new policy on the profession, government and clinical practice.

Method: Structured copies of self-administered questionnaires were distributed to forty-four interns at three accredited University Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria while 30 questionnaires were distributed to supervising physiotherapists in these hospitals. The response rate for interns was 100% while it was 60% for the supervisors. The data obtained from the designed questionnaire were analyzed by descriptive analysis.

Results: The result showed that the 52% of the interns were satisfied with the support from their senior colleagues, work load (80%), freedom to plan and manage patients (100%), and supervision from senior colleagues (62%). They were grossly dissatisfied with their salaries (91%), equipment available (79%), pattern of conducting ward rounds (89%), and office environment (58%). The result also revealed that all the supervising physiotherapists (100%) were satisfied with the skill and clinical practice of the interns. The result further showed that the programme has a positive impact in terms of clinical practice, confidence employment opportunity, productivity and government policy (66–100%).

Conclusion: This study concluded that the internship programme has a remarkable positive impact on the profession of physiotherapy in Nigeria. However, the intern physiotherapists were not satisfied most especially with their monthly income and pattern of conducting clinical rounds.

KEY WORDS: Physiotherapy Internship Programme, Nigerian Physiotherapists.

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