University of Limerick
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The missing ingredient: medical student insights to inform and enhance learner handover

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-20, 08:56 authored by Clare ConwayClare Conway, Helena McKeagueHelena McKeague, Sarah HarneySarah Harney

Background: Learner handover (LH) is the passing on of information about students between educators. In light of broad acceptance that LH can improve learner support experiences and performance outcomes, those involved are seeking greater governance to achieve practical, effective handover implementation. Stakeholder consultation can inform and enable the co-creation of meaningful, robust practice guidance. This study sought to address the gap in literature around in-depth learner opinion, a key element so far overlooked.

Methods: This qualitative study (2022) investigated undergraduate medical student perspectives on appropriate tutor information-sharing at the University of Limerick School of Medicine (ULSoM). The findings build upon an educator focus group study published by the authors (2021). Eleven participants were recruited to represent the typical graduate-entry medical school programme population across years 1–4 of study. Their understanding and expectations of “learner handover” were explored qualitatively, using online, individual, semi-structured interviews. Inductive transcript coding and thematic data analysis were applied to illustrate learner insights.

Findings: Emergent themes included shared values, individual context and collaborative process, with ideas proposed for specific action around student education, staff training, mental health support, and documented procedures.

Discussion: Consent, system transparency, data security and the development of positive handover culture were revealed as current needs. Student perspectives, together existing LH literature and highlighted aspects of educational theory, allowed the creation a new conceptual LH framework as a foundation for practice improvement.

Conclusion: These findings provide clarity and contextual understanding, mainly from a pre-clinical phase learner standpoint, with pragmatic suggestions to enhance LH appeal.



The Clinical Teacher, 2023, e13659


Wiley and Sons Ltd

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Open access funding provided by IReL.

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  • (4) Quality Education

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  • School of Medicine

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