An exploration of the relationship between African American health care professionals' resilience and their perceived experiences of their health care programs' organizational support



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The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine the relationship of resilience levels of African American (AA) health care professionals and their perceived experiences of organizational support for training in health care programs for colleges and universities. Despite an increase in more diverse applicants for health care profession programs, the AA population is considered an underrepresented minority in the field of medicine. Pressures on higher institutions of learning to resolve the long-standing issue of retaining AAs in the academic environment of health care professions field continue to increase, as do the pressures of the Offices of Student Affairs and Admissions to offer support services that help to enhance the educational experience of students attending the university. Surveys were sent to AA health care professionals in order to assess their perception of their health care training programs organizational support, and to assess the resiliency levels of when they were students enrolled in health care training programs. A purposeful sample of eight AA health care professionals were interviewed in an attempt to provide more in-depth information on AA college students' experiences with health care training programs. The results concluded that there was no significant relationship between (a) resilience levels of AA and their perceptions of organizational support for training in health care programs, (b) difference of resilience levels by gender, and (c) difference of perceived experiences by gender. Additionally, the majority of the participants shared more positive than negative experiences about their health care training programs. The factors contributing to the success of the health care participants included faith, support from family and higher education administrators, and personal motivation. Findings from the study indicated that AA health care participants experiences successful academic achievement due to the organizational support offices and support systems that were in place at their university. However, many AA participants conducted research on their own or relied on high school counselors and academic advisors for guidance when they made the decision to attend a health care training program.