The new middle level health workers training in the Amhara regional state of Ethiopia: students' perspective

BMC Public Health. 2002 Aug 30:2:15. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-2-15. Epub 2002 Aug 30.


Background: Following health sector reform, Ethiopia started training new categories of health workers. This study addresses students' perspectives regarding their training and career plans.

Methods: A cross sectional questionnaire was administered to 145 students in the three schools of the Amhara regional state of Ethiopia.

Results: The majority of students were male (62%) and originally from urban areas (76%). Job search was the most common reason for enrolling in the training for almost half (48%) of the respondents, followed by a desire to help the sick (46%). Once trained, the majority (98%) of graduates preferred to serve in the government sector and in rural health institutions (84%). Females were more willing to work in rural settings [chi2 (df 1)= 7.37; P = 0.007]. The majority (98%) of students felt the training period should be extended. 12% of graduates lacked confidence in their competencies after completing the training. A substantial proportion of the respondents (29%) did not feel the social science courses (Anthropology, Ecology and Psychology) were useful.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that mid-level health professional students are highly motivated, wish to address the health needs of rural communities, and are interested in professional development. However, students do not feel the training programs are fully addressing their needs. The students found that the duration of the training, the time for theory and practice, the availability of teaching materials, the course contents and their teachers were inadequate. This study suggests that the current training programs have serious inadequacies that need to be addressed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Career Choice
  • Career Mobility
  • Community Health Services*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Professional / standards*
  • Ethiopia
  • Female
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Personnel / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Professional Practice Location
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Class
  • Workforce