Purpose. Clinic Abroad (CA) trips result in increased clinical confidence within healthcare. However, few CA trips examine the transformational impact of CA experiences, nor has extant research sought to capture the longitudinal, transformational impact of CA trips. Thus, this study examined the clinical and cultural transformative learning resulting from a chiropractic CA trip.
Methods. The current study utilized qualitative methods to capture data through reality television style video logs during the CA trip, as well as a 6-month qualitative follow-up survey. The study is phenomenological in nature, utilizing deductive reasoning to confirm theoretical underpinnings. Thematic coding of data occurred according to participants’ viewpoints about people and objects within their experience abroad in relation to a three-stage model of transformational learning theory.
Results. The study exhibited an 89% participation rate for video log contributions, and a 75% participation rate for the 6-month follow-up survey, indicating low attrition between data collections. Emergent themes of the study indicated transformational arcs for clinical confidence, cultural awareness, and professional identity development.
Discussion. Results from the current study underscore and support important contributions of CA trips. Interns were more able to trust their clinical skills and understanding, as well as bridge cultural gaps, due to their Fiji experiences, leading toward a developed professional identity.
Conclusion. Given the cost of CA trips, and the increased liability of such trips, this study underscores the need for educators to develop intentional, intercultural, and global learning experiences affordable for those that find the cost of international travel and study prohibitive.
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