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Career choice and professional preferences in a group of Canadian physiotherapy students
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3083-106X
McMaster University, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Rehabilitation Science, IAHS, Hamilton, Canada.
McMaster University, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Rehabilitation Science, IAHS, Hamilton, Canada.
2002 (English)In: Advances in Physiotherapy, ISSN 1403-8196, E-ISSN 1651-1948, Vol. 4, no 1, 16-22 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on reasons for the career choice and the longitudinal development of attitudes to healthcare work and the physiotherapy profession. The study is part of a larger project on professional development in physiotherapy. A cohort of 60 Canadian physiotherapy students was surveyed on two occasions during their educational programme. The questionnaire was constructed using a theoretical framework about professional socialization. Forty students completed both versions of the questionnaire yielding a response rate of 67%. Seventy-two per cent were women and 28% were men. Job accessibility or economic (25.5%) were the most frequently indicated reasons for the career choice. The most frequently chosen role models were the preceptors in clinical placements (52%). None of the students indicated having a faculty member as a role model. The desire to work in private practice and with adults was ranked highly in both administrations of the questionnaire. Few students regarded home care and community health as preferable healthcare facilities after graduation. Research, managerial work or occupational health were not given as preferable areas of practice. There advantages were statistically significant differences between women and men in their preferences for private practice work and the public sector of healthcare. The results are discussed in relation to gendered division of labour in healthcare and to the development of the profession.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa Healthcare, 2002. Vol. 4, no 1, 16-22 p.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66894DOI: 10.1080/140381902317303177OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-66894DiVA: diva2:609640
Projects
digitalisering@umu
Available from: 2013-03-06 Created: 2013-03-06 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Profession on the move: Changing conditions and gendered development in physiotherapy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Profession on the move: Changing conditions and gendered development in physiotherapy
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Physiotherapy in Sweden has developed from a practical, hands-on, assistant job predominantly taught at college level to a university-based academic discipline emphasising evidence-based practice and research. Women are in majority although an increasing number of men have entered the profession. Women and men physiotherapists tend to undertake different career paths. The overall aim of the present thesis was to use a gender perspective to describe and analyse attitudes to the professional role, health care work and the development of the profession among actors engaged in physiotherapy education.

A questionnaire was distributed in 1997 to all Swedish physiotherapy students in the second semester of the education (n=273). The same cohort was investigated in 1999 at the completion of the education. The response rate was 93 percent at both occasions. For an international comparison, the same questionnaire was distributed in 1997 and in 1999 to a group of Canadian physiotherapy students in their first and last semesters (n=60). Qualitative research interviews were conducted with 8 novices in physiotherapy and with 14 women educators in academia. Five focus group discussions with clinical supervisors were conducted (10 women and 5 men). Methods used were Grounded theory, factor analysis, logistic regression and path analysis. Feminist theories and Bourdieu's theory of culture constituted a theoretical framework

Four ideal types were identified among the novices representing attitudes to the professional role. The Treater and The Supervisor were attitudes found among the women, whereas The Coach and The Entrepreneur were attitudes among the men. Type of health care facility was important for their positioning in the organisational hierarchy. Swedish students favour future employment in private practice. Sports medicine clinics and fitness centres are health care facilities highly endorsed, as is health promotion. Neither care of elderly nor hospital work are preferable fields of practice. Research is not favoured. Men students are more likely to have chosen the profession because of their interest in physical activity and sports. They are also more likely to prefer owning a private clinic and working with alternative approaches such as fitness training in sports medicine clinics. Women students are more likely to prefer an employment in private practice. The Canadian men students favour private practice whereas the women prefer the public sector of health care. The academic educators experience a gap between theory and practice which causes conflicting messages to students. Competing professions, emergent societal change and a conservative clinical practice constitute threats to the profession. The uniqueness of professional competency, theoretical development and new arenas such as home rehabilitation, consulting and research constitute a vision for future development of the profession. Masculinity is highly valued for status and power whereas femininity symbolises empathy and caring. The clinical supervisors update their theoretical knowledge base through supervision of students, but claim that students lack hands-on skills. Stress at work, unequal power relations in the hierarchy and restructuring of health care are factors that influence work satisfaction negatively. To conclude, gendered habitus, different symbolic capital and different attitudes towards health care work and development of the profession were found in the sub-fields of physiotherapy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2001. 132 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 730
Keyword
career, gender, division of labour, physiotherapy, health care, professional socialisation, professional development, gendered habitus, field, symbolic capital
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-7519 (URN)91-7305-017-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2001-05-11, Tandläkarhögskolan, Sal B, 9tr., Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00
Projects
digitalisering@umu
Available from: 2008-01-10 Created: 2008-01-10 Last updated: 2015-04-29Bibliographically approved

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