Istituto per le Tecnologie Didattiche - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 3886-3894
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.0925
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
This study aimed to explore the main motivational factors driving first-year students in the choice of degree courses in nursing, physiotherapy and health assistance. A qualitative study design was used. The study was carried out at the medical school of a university in Southern Italy. A questionnaire was administered to undergraduate students to detect their reasons for choosing the degree courses. Thematic analysis was used to identify the principal themes.
Eight main reasons were identified and were classified as intrinsic and extrinsic factors, according to the self-determination theory. Intrinsic motivations included the desire to help others, an interest in healthcare, a health-related experience, the importance of human contact with patients, a well identified professional ambition and the specific role of the chosen profession. Extrinsic motivations included job security and the influence of family members or friends. Students mainly reported reasons classified as intrinsic motivations. Some differences between the students of the different degree courses were measured.
Identifying the motivations that drive students to choose healthcare degree courses may offer academic institutions useful information to make degree courses more attractive to school leavers and to implement tailored retention activities for students.
Degree choice, self-determination theory, thematic analysis, undergraduate healthcare students.