The aim of this qualitative study was to measure the effect of a specifically designed orientation re-enactment DVD used to facilitate dental hygiene students transition from the classroom to a Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) service-learning placement with less personal anxiety and more confidence in their role during the placement.
Final year students (n = 47) were randomly allocated to one of 17 RACFs on the NSW, Central Coast, Australia. All students were then randomly allocated to a two-group study with the active group assigned to view the DVD prior to their placement. Students who viewed the DVD were asked not to discuss the content with students who were assigned to the control group. Post-placement focus groups were organized, recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were collated, analysed and unitized into emergent themes. Representative quotes are presented in the results. The study was informed by 4 years of previous quantitative and qualitative process evaluation of the RACF programme.
Focus group discussions identified that those students who had seen the DVD reported a shorter timeframe to successfully transition from the classroom to the RACF and stated that the DVD provided them with a realistic expectation of the RACF environment and their role in the placement experience.
The orientation DVD reduced student anxiety and improved student confidence in their role during the placement by providing a realistic orientation of the RACF environment.