Graduate ancillary health care workers' perceptions of the ancillary health care learnership programme in eThekwini District.
Aim The aim of this study was to describe ancillary health care workers’ perceptions of the Ancillary Health Care Learnership programme, and their current employment status within the health care sector. Methods A non-experimental cross sectional survey was used that incorporated complementary mixed method data collection (Balnaves & Caputi, 2001; Polit & Beck, 2010). Quantitative data collected during the first phase, a telephonic interview assisted self-report questionnaire was used to inform semi structured focus group interviews that took place during the second phase to obtain richer descriptions and explore response and results of the phase 1 cross sectional survey (Bell, 2005). A Convenience sample of ninety two (n=92) was achieved for the telephonic interview assisted self- report questionnaire, and was substantially lower that the number of potential participants (N=200). Purposive sampling was used to obtain fifteen (N=15) potential key informant participants, a final sample of nine (n=9) achieved for the focus group interviews. Results The research revealed that majority (69%) of participants had their expectations of the course met. Subjects such as agriculture and business plan were perceived as not valuable and participants recommended that these be removed from the course. Computer course information was seen as and needed addition in order to bridge the skills gap and improve the opportunities for employment.Despite particpants perceptions of the course being met, expectations regarding emplyment were not. Employment rates were low, specifically within the health care sector. Conclusion and Recommendations The Ancillary Health Care Programme has not assisted the graduates in gaining employment. The review of the Ancillary Health Care Programme and some of the unit standards is one of the recommended options that can be done to improve the employment opportunities.