Developing Resilience for Students Taking Vocational Courses



Author (s) Christopher Horn


Resilience is defined as the success of adaptation in the face of adversity. In vocational courses like medicine, resilient students are less likely to experience depression than vulnerable students. Resilient students also report greater a better quality of life, a more positive outlook on their learning environment, and greater success academically. It is proposed that greater attention should be given to trying to enhance the resilience of medical students. It is anticipated that this will improve the student experience, increase the chance of success and should impact positively during and after their transition into becoming a junior doctor. This theory can arguably be applied to the education of the students of many courses, particularly those involved with vocational training.


I propose to deliver a talk with the aid of a few, select Powerpoint slides to illustrate themes. For an assortment of academic and non-academic reasons, students suffer varying degrees of stress and burnout which inevitably affects their progress, enjoyment and achievement at university. Particularly for students studying vocational subjects, this arguably impacts on their ability to thrive in their jobs after graduating. In turn, this has implications on the length and satisfaction of their subsequent careers. Learning resiliency can not only positively affect the individual, but will also do so for those they interact with on a professional level. In the example of medicine, this means patients and healthcare teams. I expect that these concepts will resonate with other delegates who deliver teaching, especially those involved in vocational training and those who train healthcare workers. It is hoped that education and awareness on the importance of resilience and how to develop it is introduced to medical students from their first year in Swansea University through specific, structured sessions, and as part of pre-existing taught components. This is not something which is currently integrated into the GEM course and it is hoped that doing so will enhance the already excellent reputation of Swansea Medical School and hopefully, in turn, help alleviate some of the personnel pressures threatening parts of the health service.

Key Words

Stress, Burnout, Resilience, Healthcare

Key Messages

Stress and burnout negatively affect a student’s progress and achievement through university. In the context of vocational courses, this can impact on the individual’s ability to thrive through their careers. Individuals who show resilience can respond to stressful situations in a positive manner, thus improving the quality of their output and career longevity. In the ever changing world of healthcare, an ability to adapt is essential. Developing resilience through specific teaching at an undergraduate level should impact positively on the individual’s university and future professional careers


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