Project Title

HealthCare Students-Grounded Theory

Name of Award

Carol Easley Denny Award

Date Awarded

Summer 6-1-2016


Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

Project Description

Brenda Frie, MA, OTR/L, CHT, Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy Department, was won a $7500 Carol Easly Denny Award. Her study, How healthcare students decide to participate in honors, a grounded theory approach will be used to explore how healthcare students make decisions to participate in an honors program. Some assumptions are that students decisions are influenced by the high credit requirements, structured course format and timing of internship placements within healthcare programs. Upon review of the literature, there is no prior research exploring how a healthcare student decides to or not to participate in honors programming.

The study supports St. Catherine's strategic plan to develop a mission based Henrietta Schmoll School of Health (HSSH) interprofessional education (IPE) honors program. The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of IPE education is “interprofessional education exists when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes” (WHO, 2010, p.13). While discipline-based healthcare honors programs exist, none simulate clinical practice through requiring significant across discipline team educational experiences.

The creation of an IPE honors program offers a chance learn from and build upon the existing Antonian Scholars Program. The objective of this study is to develop a substantive theory about healthcare students motivations, interests, and perceived benefits or detractors from honors participation. The study outcome will be a theory about healthcare students decision to participate in honors that can inform the development of an innovative IPE honors program.

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