alumni, clinical information resources, career preparation


Health Sciences and Medical Librarianship | Information Literacy


IntroductionThis study aimed to determine what resources Grand Valley State University (GVSU) alumni, who have graduated from a health sciences program, utilize in clinical practice. The study also assessed alumni viewpoints about the quality and usefulness of those resources. A secondary goal of this study explored alumni opinions of their educational experiences at GVSU in relation to information literacy and library resources.MethodsThe data for this study was obtained through the use of a questionnaire administered to alumni who had graduated with a degree in athletic training (BS), nursing (BS, MS, DNP), physical therapy (MPT and DPT), or physician assistant studies (MPAS).ResultsWe received 451 valid responses (12.8% response rate). PubMed, UpToDate, and CINAHL were most frequently used for professional information needs by all respondents, although there were variations across disciplines. More than 85% of respondents were confident in their skills in finding, evaluating, and applying published research to practice, with variations between those with undergraduate degrees and those with advanced degrees. Overall, 92.1% of the respondents felt GVSU prepared them for finding and using information in professional practice. Professors were most frequently cited in helping students prepare for their careers.ConclusionThis study provides insight into how resource utilization varies by discipline and graduates’ perceptions of their preparation to become well-informed users of information in their profession. The data gleaned from this study will inform conversations with faculty members and decisions regarding resource acquisition to help students transition from the academic environment to professional practice.