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Attitudes of Medical Students Towards Taking Part-Time Jobs: A Study Amongst First Year Clinical Students of The College of Medicine, University Of Ibadan

K.K. Kanmodi1, A.G. Akinloye2 and T.O. Aladelusi3

1. Faculty of Dental Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

2. Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Osun State College of Technology, Esa Oke, Nigeria.

3. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Nigeria.


ABSTRACT

Background: Student part-time jobs are employments taken up by students while in school. Students in tertiary institutions do engage in part-time jobs because of the associated benefits. Some of these benefits include work experience, independence, financial support, and job satisfaction. Different studies have reported different attitudes towards taking part-time jobs among university students. 

Objective: To determine the attitudes of medical students in their first clinical year of study at the University of Ibadan medical school towards taking up parttime medical jobs within the university hospital.

Methods: This study was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among medical students in their first clinical year of study. Eighty one first clinical – year medical students were recruited to participate in this study. All participants were interviewed using a self-administered questionnaire to obtain information on bio-data, scholarship benefit status, level of satisfaction with monthly income, choices of part-time jobs, and the factors that might informed choice of a part-time job. No questionnaire was discarded because all were correctly filled. Data collected was coded, entered, and analysed using the SPSS version 16 software. Analyses of all variables were done using descriptive statistics.

Results: The mean age of the 81 respondents was 20.8 (±1.6) years and 51.9% were males. A higher proportion of the male respondents were studying on scholarship (57.1%), compared to that of the females (31.6%). Respondents studying on scholarship had a higher level of financial satisfaction. Over 90% of the participants supported the idea of part-time medical job creation for medical students. The majority of the respondents (64.2%) prefer to take up the job position of research assistantships. The amount of wages to be earned was the most predominant factor considered among the male respondents in their decision for taking up a part-time medical job, while opportunity to learn new skills was the most predominant factor considered by the females.

Conclusions: Medical students had a positive attitude towards combining work and study.

Keywords: Attitude; Medical students; Clinical year; Part-time; Medical jobs


INTRODUCTION

Earnings from part-time job positions play a contributory role in the empowerment and sustenance of students in tertiary institutions.1 In fact, a study by Vickers et al in 2003 showed that the number of students that are taking up part-time job positions is on the increase.2 Some of the benefits students derive from having part-time jobs include financial buoyancy, acquisition of administrative and leadership skills.2-5 Nevertheless, there are risks associated with combining work and study. Some of these risks include distractions from studies leading to reduced academic performance, high possibility of missing of classes and dropping out.6-9 These risks were strongly associated with students who spent lengthy hours at work at the expense of their academic pursuits.6,7

Only a few Nigerian studies have been conducted to explore the attitude of students towards work and study.10 This is because the work and study program is under-utilized in various Nigerian tertiary institutions at present.10,11 In a study on a population of university students who were given the opportunity to have part-time employment in their department, Omonijo et al10 reported that students taking part-time jobs related to their disciplines enjoyed the benefits of building their occupational skills for the nearest future. They recommended that work-study programmes should be created in all academic disciplines.10 However, none of the participants of this study was a medical student. It has also been found that many high school and tertiary school students in developed countries have positive interest in work and study.12,13 This was found to be attributed to the financial benefits, work experience, satisfaction, and associated feelings of independence they could derive from engaging in parttime jobs.12-14 

The attitude of University of Ibadan medical students towards part-time jobs has yet to be investigated; hence this study was conducted to evaluate the attitude of the University of Ibadan medical students in their first clinical year of study in the University College Hospital towards taking up part-time medical job positions, if such job opportunities are created.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Study setting

This study was a cross-sectional survey which was conducted at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. This hospital is affiliated with the University of Ibadan and serves as the tertiary health institution where medical students from the University of Ibadan receive their clinical training. The medical students receiving their clinical training in this hospital are in their fourth, fifth, and sixth year.

Selection criteria

The medical students in the first clinical year of their study programme were considered ideal for this study because they are new students in the hospital environment and they are yet to be preoccupied with extra-curricular activities which could limit their interest in taking up part-time jobs. Of the 197 students in the first year in the year 2015, 81 (41.1%) participants who consented to be part of the study were recruited. 

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Corresponding Author:

Dr. T.O. Aladelusi

Dept. of Oral and Maxillo. Surgery,

College of Medicine,

University of Ibadan.

E-mail: drtimmylee@gmail.com,

t.aladelusi@mail1.ui.edu.ng

Phone: 08033662155; 07081121115