Readiness to enter the workforce: perceptions of health professions students at a regional Australian university

Malau-Aduli, Bunmi, Jones, Karina, Alele, Faith, Adu, Mary, Drovandi, Aaron, Knott, Gillian, Young, Louise, and Jo, Clara (2022) Readiness to enter the workforce: perceptions of health professions students at a regional Australian university. BMC Medical Education, 22. 89.

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Background: Perceived readiness for practice can help mitigate the stress and uncertainty associated with transitioning from university into the workforce. This study aimed to identify factors influencing the readiness for clinical practice among final-year medical, dental, and pharmacy students at an Australian regional university.

Methods: The study utilised a sequential explanatory mixed-methods approach with surveys administered for the quantitative phase and interviews/focus groups for the qualitative phase. Descriptive statistics and inductive thematic analysis were utilised for the quantitative and qualitative data, respectively. Triangulation of findings from both phases facilitated in-depth understanding of the factors that influenced participants’ self-perceived readiness for clinical practice.

Results: From the three disciplines, 132 students completed the survey and 14 participated in the focus groups and interviews. Students felt most prepared in their patient-centred capabilities, core skills, and advanced consultation skills, and least prepared in their system-related capabilities and clinical care skills. Themes identified as essential enablers and confidence builders in relation to workforce readiness in all three disciplines were: gained knowledge and skills, value of clinical placement experiences, support from peers, family and staff. However, students felt their work-readiness was impaired by heavy academic workloads and poor knowledge of health care systems, which affected skills development. Participants suggested additional support in health care system and clinical governance, mental healthcare, and induction to placement sites to further improve their work readiness.

Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that improving work-readiness of healthcare students requires alignment of learning needs to real-world practice opportunities, ensuring support systems are appropriate, and early familiarisation with the healthcare system.

Item ID: 72636
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6920
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 13 May 2022 04:19
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390110 Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1602 Schools and learning environments > 160206 Workforce transition and employment @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2099 Other health > 209999 Other health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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