Tips for using students during times of change in health care: lessons from the literature and from practice
Authors Kumar S, Lensink IL, Turnbull C
Received 9 May 2017
Accepted for publication 5 July 2017
Published 27 July 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 535—540
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Robert Robinson
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder
Saravana Kumar,1 Ingrid L Lensink,2 Catherine Turnbull2
1School of Health Sciences, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia; 2Office for Professional Leadership, SA Health, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Background: It is often said that the only constant in health care is change. While change is inevitable, implementing change in health care is complex, and health care stakeholders are often confronted by numerous barriers and challenges. Historically, students have been an integral part of the health system through aspects such as clinical placements, and hence, may play a role during times of change.
Aim: The aim of this study is to provide strategies for using students as positive agents of change by discussing opportunities and highlighting challenges.
Method: The tips proposed in this commentary are derived from the literature, identified using a systematic search, and from our experiences at the “coal face” of engaging students during times of change.
Results: This article highlights specific challenges, targeted opportunities, and critical success factors of using students as agents of change. Students can play an important role in enhancing service provision, providing opportunities for staff recognition, and being enablers to drive, implement, and evaluate change in the health system and wider community. However, in order to achieve these positive impacts, it is imperative to recognize and address staff concerns early and build upon a number of critical success factors. These critical success factors such as inter-sectoral engagement, clarity, collaboration, support, training, resources, and ongoing evaluation can “make or break” students’ involvement in a health service, and therefore, careful and regular consideration of these factors is recommended.
Conclusion: We believe that these tips, synthesized from evidence from the literature and our first-hand experiences, will assist health care stakeholders in utilizing students as timely, effective, and practical agents of change.
Keywords: students, change agents, health service delivery, partnership, leadership, transformation
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]
Other articles by this author:
Impact and feasibility of the Allied Health Professional Enhancement Program placements – experiences from rural and remote Queensland
Martin P, Kumar S, Stone M, Abernathy L, Burge V, Lizarondo L
Published Date: 4 February 2016
The effectiveness of hydrotherapy in the treatment of social and behavioral aspects of children with autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review
Mortimer R, Privopoulos M, Kumar S
Published Date: 3 February 2014
The effectiveness of massage therapy for the treatment of nonspecific low back pain: a systematic review of systematic reviews
Kumar S, Beaton K, Hughes T
Published Date: 4 September 2013
Dunsford A, Kumar S, Clarke S
Published Date: 1 November 2011
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials on exercise parameters in the treatment of patellofemoral pain: what works?
Harvie DS, O'Leary TJ, Kumar S
Published Date: 31 October 2011
Gilmore LG, Morris JH, Murphy K, Grimmer-Somers K, Kumar S
Published Date: 6 September 2011
Lucylynn Lizarondo, Saravana Kumar, Lisa Hyde, et al
Published Date: 19 August 2010
Development and implementation of an online hybrid model for teaching evidence-based practice to health professions: processes and outcomes from an Australian experience
Saravana Kumar, Luke Perraton, Zuzana Machotka
Published Date: 10 August 2010