Physiotherapy undergraduates undergo a rigorous training process which predisposes them to stress. One’s ability to cope with the stress and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills that accrue to confidence and competence in practice is expected to develop while in school. However, level of study and exposure could influence the readiness to go into professional practice. This study aims to determine the perceived readiness to practice (PRTP) among pre-clinical and clinical undergraduates of physiotherapy department in University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. A cross-sectional descriptive survey design involving 296 undergraduates of University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC). The responses were collected using a modified questionnaire with likert scale (5 point scale item) adapted from a study. The 33 item questionnaire was developed for the purpose of this study. The three constructs assessed were (i) awareness/ readiness, (ii) learning and skills acquired and (iii) Scope of the profession / practice. Data obtained were analyzed using frequency distributions, percentages and Chi-square test at α = 0.05. Age was found to have greater association with learning and skills acquired (p<0.05). Level of study was found to be associated (p<0.05) with readiness to practice, learning and skills acquired and scope of the profession. However gender had the least association with the constructs. The greater proportion of clinical students expressed more preparedness to practice based on their knowledge, clinical skills and level of exposure/experience. Although clinical students appeared to be more ready to practice, their preclinical counterpart expressed nearly identical opinion. Age and level of study are important determinants of PRTP.
Keywords: Perceived Readiness to Practice, Pre-Clinical students, Clinical students, Physiotherapy
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