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‘The placement was probably the tipping point’ – The narratives of recently discontinued students

Hamshire, Claire and Willgoss, Thomas G. and Wibberley, Christopher (2011) ‘The placement was probably the tipping point’ – The narratives of recently discontinued students. ISSN 1471-5953

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Abstract

Much has been written on student attrition from healthcare programmes and we know that it is often multifactorial. However in order to reduce attrition we need to gain a greater understanding of how multiple factors impact upon and compound one another to prompt a student to decide to leave. The purpose of this study was to explore healthcare students’ experiences of university and the circumstances that initiated their decision to leave their programme. Sixteen students that had recently left healthcare programmes within the North West of England were interviewed by telephone, using a narrative prompt to facilitate them to tell their stories. All the students gave detailed narrative accounts that described their learning experiences, growing dissatisfaction and subsequent attrition. In the majority dissatisfaction and difficulties around clinical placements acted as a tipping point that precipitated departure.

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