Authors: 1Stephenson Nkurikiyiaman | 2Betty Ezati | 3Ali Kyakulumbye
Competence acquisition in Health institutions is largely enhanced by student to student learning, student to practical demonstrator and enabling learning environment. Challenges impeding skills acquisitions were identified and their remedies implemented. These remedies were aimed at strengthening students’ engagement in active participation to learn practical skills. This research project was voluntary and participatory among 50 stakeholders of a medical laboratory training school. The qualitative data was collected using interviews, participant observation, photography and documentary analysis techniques with help of future work shop and work process analysis tools. About seven major challenges distressing skills acquisition were noted; Much time spend in theory, congestion at practicum sites, procedures taught in classroom not matching with those in the world of work, Less practical demonstration, inadequate practical self-study and no exposure to HIV counselling, inventory and store management skills. However, the most pressing challenge was inadequate learners’ active participation to study practical. Mitigation to the challenges were; Enhancing practical return demonstrations, Scheduling time for practical self- study, Attaching students in pharmacy and records for inventory and store management respectively, Allocating specific period for theories and practical, Providing pre and post HIV Counselling skills. Active participation was adopted to improve students’ engagement to learn practical. Due to students involvement there has been greater improvement in laboratory results interpretation, practical practices and communication skills.
Keywords: Active participation, practical skills acquisition and practicum attachment