Am I being understood? Veterinary students' perceptions of the relationship between their language background, communication ability, and clinical learning
King, E and Henning, J and Green, WJ and Turpin, MJ and Schull, DN, Am I being understood? Veterinary students' perceptions of the relationship between their language background, communication ability, and clinical learning, Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 46, (1) pp. 35-44. ISSN 0748-321X (2019) [Refereed Article]
During clinical workplace learning, effective communication between veterinary students and clinical staff is of paramount importance to facilitating learning, assessment, and patient care. Although studies in health sciences education have indicated that students may experience communication difficulties as a result of linguistic, cultural, and other factors and that these difficulties can affect clinical learning and academic outcomes, this has not yet been explored in veterinary clinical educational contexts. In this study, the authors sought to identify whether final-year veterinary students perceived that their communication ability influenced their clinical learning and, if so, whether language background was of significance. Seventy-one students from a final-year cohort at an Australian veterinary school completed a student perception survey at the end of their clinical training. Exploratory factor analysis was used to investigate the extent to which learners perceived that their communication ability influenced their clinical learning. Two factors explained 72.3% of total variance. Factor 1 related to communication ability as a source of concern; Factor 2 related to comprehending and contributing to clinical conversations. Communication ability as a source of concern differed significantly (p < .001) between students who did and did not have an English-speaking background, but there was no significant difference between these two student groups for Factor 2. Although language background was associated with self-perceived communication ability, evidence also emerged that students may experience communication challenges during clinical learning, irrespective of their language background.
communication ability, clinical workplace learning, international student, non-English-speaking background (NESB), work-integrated learning (WIL), clinical placements, clinical veterinary education