Practice Model for Interprofessional Teaching-Learning of Anatomy at a Higher Education Institution in South Africa

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Belinda Scrooby, PhD, MCur, BCur, RN
School of Nursing Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Potchefstroom, South Africa

The teaching-learning of basic medical sciences generally, and anatomy particularly, have been “diluted” in the health science curricula globally during the past two to three decades. This reduction in anatomy teaching-learning has started showing the consequences in clinical practice, patient care, and health science education (Memon, 2009:125). Turney (2007:104) supports this, saying that between 1995 and 2000, there was a seven-fold increase in claims associated with anatomical errors. This results in public and media pressure for doctors and other health care practitioners to have a sound knowledge of anatomy.

The main aim of this research was to develop a practice model for interprofessional teaching-learning of anatomy at a higher education institution in South Africa to facilitate deep-holistic lifelong learning. The  research design utilised a theory-generative, quantitative and qualitative design (Brink, 2006:10-11;  Mouton & Marais, 1996:159) to explore (Mouton & Marais, 1996:45) and describe (Mouton & Marais, 1996:46) teaching-learning of anatomy in a specific context (Klopper, 2008:68).

The study was conducted in two phases with two steps under each phase, including three objectives. Phase one consisted of the identification of concepts, description and definition of the three objectives. Step 1 under phase one consisted of identifying main and related concepts and this process was completed for objectives one and two, namely to assess interprofessional students’ (IPS) and peer group’s (PG) opinions on the teaching-learning approach to anatomy; and to explore interprofessionals’ perceptions of the importance of anatomy in clinical practice. All data gathered, synthesized and concepts identified from objectives one and two lead to step 2 of phase one, that is to say concept descriptions and definitions that were completed through objective three, which was to describe a conceptual framework for inter­professional teaching-learning of anatomy.

Phase two (model construction), step 1 (to construct relational meaning of main and related concepts) and step 2 (model construction through theory synthesis) was completed from the concept descriptions and definitions identified in phase one. This practice model will be implemented in the health sciences faculty of the higher education institution where the researcher is working.