South Africa is one of the few countries to produce emergency care graduates in Africa. However, a large number of these graduates are emigrating from Africa. Although academic success has been studied in various contexts in Africa, none have looked into the Bachelor of Emergency Medical Care (BEMC). Maximising academic success in the BEMC might ensure a sustainable skilled workforce in an area which has a shortage of skilled personnel.
This study aimed to describe the socio-demographic variables of current South African BEMC students. We also aimed to describe whether any associations exist between socio-demographic variables, various racial groupings and repeating a year during the course of study.
A cross-sectional descriptive survey was conducted among students enrolled for the BEMC in 2016. Continuous and categorical variables were analysed using descriptive statistics. The Fisher’s exact test and Pearson chi-square test were used to test associations between the survey variables and repeating a year.
A total of 176 participants responded to the survey. Having a pre-existing emergency care qualification was associated with not repeating a year on the BEMC (p=0.02). The statistical difference between race and not repeating a year in the BEMC was not significant (p=0.07). However, when the black-African and minority cohort are grouped together, it is significant (p=0.05).
A number of socio-demographics were described in this study. Students with pre-existing emergency care qualifications were least likely to repeat a year.
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