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PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY DURING STUDIES BY PHYSIOTHERAPY STUDENTS OF MASTER'S DEGREE COURSE OF UNIVERSITY-LEVEL SCHOOLS IN POLAND

J. Gotlib1, D. Bialoszewski2

1Medical University of Warsaw (POLAND)
2Medical University of Warsaw, Department of Rehabilitation, Division of Physiotherapy (POLAND)
Background and Aim of Study:
In Poland, graduation from a Bachelor's degree course with a Bachelor's degree in Physiotherapy makes possible to take on employment as a physiotherapist. However, a majority of students continue their education on a Master's degree course and simultaneously work either as a physiotherapist or in another profession. This differs us from other European countries. The aim of the study was to analyse the issue of taking on professional activity by second-year Physiotherapy students of a Master's degree course of university-level schools of different educational profiles, i.e.: medical universities (PM), universities of physical education (PWF), and other schools (IP).

Materials and Methods:
The study enrolled 1942 second-year students of a Master's degree course of 17 university-level schools (PM: 8, PWF: 4, IP: 5). A mean questionnaire return rate was: 53%. Women constituted 77% of the study participants, the mean age was 21 years (SD=10.64; min. 23; max. 50). As many as 736 (45%) of the study participants started a Master's degree course at the same university-level school at which they had graduated from a Bachelor's degree course.

The study was conducted within the International Research Project "The formative effect of the course of physiotherapy studies on the occupational attitudes of students” (www.projekt-fizjoterapia.wum.edu.pl). The approval of the Ethical Review Board of Warsaw Medical University was not necessary to conduct the voluntary and anonymous questionnaire study. Statistical analysis: STATISTICA 10.0 (licensed to Warsaw Medical University), non-parametric statistical tests: Chi-square, Kruskall-Wallis, and Mann-Whitney U, p<0.05.

Results:
35% of the study participants reported that the organisation of classes on a Master's degree course makes possible to take on employment (43% of PM students, 40% of PWF students, and 35% of IP students), p<0.022. 30% of the study participants reported that they worked as physiotherapists (37% of PM students<36% of PWF and 29% of IP students), p<0.005. 22% of the study participants started searching for a job immediately after graduation from a Bachelor's degree course (22% of PM students< 29% of PWF and 23% of IP students), p=NS. 38% of the study participants were searching for a job in the field of physiotherapy on the Internet (42% of PM students, 48% of PWF students, and 41% of IP students). The largest group of students (18%) reported that their current earnings were between PLN 1000÷1500 (20% of PM students, 23% of PWF students, and 18% of IP students); H =25.632, p<.000.

Conclusions:
1. The organisation of classes did not constitute a significant problem in taking on employment during studies for the study participants in neither group of Physiotherapy students of a Master's degree course.
2. In the study group of students, the educational profile significantly influenced the frequency of taking on employment as a physiotherapist during a Master's degree course.
3. In the study group of students, the educational profile did not significantly influence the method of searching for a job in the field of physiotherapy.