PURPOSE: This study sought to investigate the change in the satisfaction levels of healthcare students regarding clinical practice before and after the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) outbreak.
METHODS: This was a longitudinal survey using a structured questionnaire. The first survey was conducted before the COVID-19 outbreak in April 2018, and the second survey was conducted after the outbreak from May to June 2022. The questionnaire used before and after COVID-19 had the same content and was categorized into the following six factors to determine clinical practice satisfaction: practice guidance, practice environment, practice time, practice evaluation, interpersonal relationships, and effectiveness of practice. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 153 healthcare students (average age: 22.43 ± 1.47 years old), participated from 4 departments: nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and dental hygiene. After COVID-19, 84 students (average age: 22.75 ± 2.87 years old), from the physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, and dental hygiene departments participated in the survey.
RESULTS: Clinical practice satisfaction was evaluated considering the factors of practical guidance, practice environment, practice time, interpersonal relationships, and practical effects. It was observed that the satisfaction with clinical practice increased in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and dental hygiene students after COVID-19 compared to the situation before the outbreak. There was no difference seen in the practice time and practice evaluation factors in the occupational therapy department and in the practice time factor in the dental hygiene department before and after COVID.
CONCLUSION: In clinical practice under the extremely constrained circumstances imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that the emotional internal response is greater, and the satisfaction with clinical practice appears to be relatively higher than before the outbreak.