Final year physiotherapy students’ knowledge and perception of professionalism
Background / Objectives: Professionalism is on the decline in almost all professions. This study therefore investigated the knowledge and perceptions of final year physiotherapy students on professionalism.
Methods: One hundred and nine (51 males and 58 females) final year physiotherapy students from 3 universities in South Western Nigeria (University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), selected by purposive sampling participated in this study. They completed a 24-item questionnaire on knowledge and perceptions of professional behaviours in physiotherapy profession.
Results: 86.6% of the respondents had good knowledge of professionalism. Eighty-one (74.3%) respondents reported that their lecturers demonstrate professional behaviours suitable for a professional role model. Seventy-five (68.8%) respondents reported that their clinical instructors demonstrate professional behaviours suitable for a professional role model. Eighty-four (77%) respondents reported that the physiotherapy programme which they attend teaches and fosters professional behaviours. Only 46 (42.2%) of them were aware of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP)’s list of core values. Medical doctors and pharmacists were rated highest (9.1) by respondents in the degree of professional behaviours demonstrated. Lateness was rated the highest negative behaviour common to them (3.2) and their clinical instructors (2.4). Most of the respondents chose role modelling (78; 71.6%) and lectures (70; 64.2%) as the actual and desired methods of teaching/learning professional behaviours respectively.
Conclusion: The final year physiotherapy students had good knowledge of professionalism but advocated that lectures and role modelling were the most desired methods of teaching/ learning professional behaviours.
Keywords: Professionalism, Knowledge, Perception.
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