THE GAP BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE: A QUALITATIVE STUDY ON MEDICAL ASSISTANT PROGRAM IN MALAYSIA

Alias Mahmudi

Abstract


The gap between theory and practice is a foremost issue in the implementation of paramedical curricula around the world. But this issue has never been studied in the implementation of paramedical programs in the country. Hence, this study has been conducted to evaluate whether there is a gap between theory and practice as well as identifying the main aspects of the gap in the implementation of medical assistant curriculum in the country. This study was a qualitative approach by case studies at the Medical Assistant College, Seremban. Malaysia. A total of 12 participants were 4 tutors, 4 students and 4 local preceptors (LP) who were selected using purposive sampling. The data were obtained through in-depth interviews by using semi-structured questions. The data were analyzed through the thematic coding approach using the NVivo 10 software. The findings revealed that there were 3 main aspects of the gap between the theory and practice in the implementation of the paramedic curriculum; 1) the contents of the curriculum are lagging behind today's medical developments; 2) There is a difference in the implementation of medical procedures in clinical placement with the procedures studied by students in college and; 3) there are some medical equipment used in college that are different with clinical use equipment. In conclusion, this study has confirmed that there is a gap between theory and practice in the implementation of the medical assistant curriculum in the country. Although this gap is not as critical, it can affect the efficacy of the training and may affect the patient's safety if it is not immediately addressed.

 

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theory-practice gap, integration theory-practice, paramedical curriculum, diploma in medical assistant, assistant medical officer

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