Awareness of Medical Laboratory Science as a Career among Secondary School



1.1             Background of the Study

The Medical Laboratory profession has its roots in clinical pathology. In fact, “the practice of modern medicine would not be possible without the professional services of medical technologists, also known as clinical laboratory scientists” Muelhlenkamp (as cited in Kirby, 2007).

In the 21st century, clinical laboratory science is a healthcare profession that encompasses areas such as hematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, parasitology, immunohematology, toxicology, immunology, and molecular pathology. The clinical laboratory workforce is comprised of practitioners nationally recognized by their degree of education and training as well as by their level of expertise. It is the combination of education, training, and experience, which differentiates practitioners and qualifies them for employment in a particular field.

The Medical Laboratory Science workforce seems to be at an exciting crossroad of change, both in recruiting and in curriculum.The environment of healthcare has changed and so has nursing, resulting in students asking, “what is Medical Laboratory Science?”. This question creates a challenge for Medical Laboratory Science educators. In order to attract and retain bright, capable students in nursing, there must be changes in Medical Laboratory Science curricula to provide and assure accurate and definitive perceptions of Medical Laboratory Science. Factors which currently contribute to students’ perceptions of Medical Laboratory Science must be identified in order to establish and provide students with the career making skills necessary in choosing a Medical Laboratory Science career, find job satisfaction following graduation, and remain in Medical Laboratory Science as a career.

Today, the conceptualization by students of the Medical Laboratory Science profession appears uncertain, and the question asked by many students is “What is Medical Laboratory Science?” (Wieck, 2000). Historically, nurses have been predominantly females. Students’ perceptions of Medical Laboratory Science are based on visual images that are often limited to blood testing and x-ray taking instead of that of a highly skilled and well-educated Medical Laboratory professional with an important role to play in healthcare. Many students have not spent time with a Medical Laboratory professional or volunteered in a healthcare setting to acquire a background on which to establish perceptions about Medical Laboratory Science, and thus have limited their opportunities for more informed career decision-making skills.


Many bright students are looking for advanced degrees, and are often confused regarding academic tracks for Medical Laboratory Science. These students are often discouraged by the lack of standardization in Medical Laboratory Science education, and choose alternative curricula in medicine instead of Medical Laboratory Science. Students also need to be aware of advanced degrees that prepare students to achieve advanced educational opportunities.

1.2             Statement of the Problem


Hospitals and healthcare facilities in the Nigeria are facing serious shortages of medical laboratory personnel, which, if not addressed, stand to negatively impact patient care. The problem is compounded by a reduction in the numbers of academic programs and resulting decrease in the number of graduates to keep up with the increase in industry demands. This problem is not peculiar to Nigeria. For instance, in the United States Cearlock (as cited in Enrado, 2009) asserted that “only two new clinical lab professionals enter the field for every seven who retire, and the average age of the laboratory professional is over 50”.

Also, there appears to be a limited, and in some cases, negative perception that is of the Medical Laboratory profession created by a number of factors that filter down to secondary school students. Students’ perceptions about Medical Laboratory Science have been shown to be influenced by several factors including negative parental viewpoints, a lack of time spent by students in healthcare settings, absence of Medical Laboratory mentors, and unrealistic television media portrayals of Medical Laboratory practictioners.

Facing this national shortage of educational opportunities and the projected need for laboratory professionals, faculty and trained professionals found it was more critical than ever to make sure that entrants to the program succeeded, graduated, and prepared to enter the profession.

Therefore, research is needed to determine if adequate informed career decisions making skills about Medical Laboratory prior to entering the programs can improve Medical Laboratory student retention rates and career satisfaction. Given these challenges, the purpose of this study was to determine the awareness of Medical Laboratory Science as a career path among secondary students.


1.3             Research Question

  1. Is there any relationship between family background and the awareness of Medical Laboratory as a career among secondary school students?
  2. Is there any relationship between peer group pressure and the awareness of Medical Laboratory as a career among secondary school students?
  3. Is there any relationship between societal valued jobs and the awareness of Medical Laboratory as a career among secondary school students?
  4. Is there any relationship between school environment and the awareness of Medical Laboratory as a career among secondary school students?


1.4       Research Hypotheses



1.5             Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this research work is to:

Find out if family background determines the awareness of Medical Laboratory Science as a career among secondary school students

Find out if peer group pressure determines the awareness of Medical Laboratory Science as a career among secondary school students


Find out if there is a relationship between societal valued jobs and the awareness of Medical Laboratory Science as a career among secondary school students


Find out if school environment determines the awareness of Medical Laboratory Science as a career among secondary school students


1.6             Significance of the Study


The significance of this study lies in its impact on three general areas: (a) the individual student, (b) the society, and (c) the Medical Laboratory profession. The individual student has a desire to succeed and to complete the degree program in order to be eligible to sit for the certification examination and to gain employment in the profession. The exiting of students from the program before completion means that resources have been wasted and that dreams have been thwarted.


Clearly, the shortages of personnel and the program closures have placed new demands on medical laboratory technology programs to recruit more students and to develop strategies to decrease attrition and to increase graduation rates. Therefore, the ability to accurately predict student success and to implement strategies that will enhance student learning and decrease attrition will have a positive impact on graduation rates and the availability of trained professionals in the community.


There is a definite need for empirical research that will enhance the knowledge of

educators in the health related fields of study, particularly in the field of Medical Laboratory Technology. While there is a wide body of research attempting to predict student success in nursing or medicine, little research was found in a review of the literature examining predictability of student success in Medical Laboratory Science.

Understanding students’ perceptions of nursing will help Medical Laboratory Science recruiters and educators to determine whether an Introduction to Medical Laboratory Science course would be beneficial to intending students. Academic and visible healthcare experience can provide students with more informed career decision-making skills, as well as help to formulate informed perceptions of professional Medical Laboratory Science


1.7             Delimitation of the Study

The research is needed to determine the awareness of Medical Laboratory Science as a career path among secondary students. The study focuses on the factors that influence students’ choice of career in secondary schools. It is aimed at all secondary school students in Kwara State but because of time, money and other factors, it will be limited to only four schools.

1.8             Operational Definition of Terms


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Influence of Family Background on Girls Attitude Towards Menstrual Hygiene in Nigeria

RESEARCH PROPOSAL     DOWNLOAD PDF HERE                                   

1.1  Background to the Study
Adolescence is a stage of growth and development in which  major cognitive,
psychological, and physical changes take place. Although both pubertal boys and girls need
to adjust to new role expectations associated with this period of maturation, the physical
changes experienced are different for each sex. For girls,  one of the most memorable and
defining moments of adolescence is menarche, the first menstrual period (Ikaraoha,
Mbadiwe, Igwe and Akagwa, 2005).

Jane (2001) maintained that menarche is a traumatic event during which girls
experience a loss of freedom, power, and spontaneity and that there is a cultural denial of
menarche and menstruation which manifests itself as a decrease in girls’ self-esteem. Cultural
attitudes and family beliefs regarding menstruation  have been shown to have a significant
relationship to the reporting of menstrual symptoms (Jane, 2001).

The meaning of menstruation varies cross-culturally. In  some cultures, the symbolic
polluting power of menstruation  is considered the basis for negative feelings toward female
bodies and the oppression of women, while other cultures  emphasize the symbolic
enhancement of life forces by menstrual blood in rituals (Padez and Rocha, 2003). Ikaraoha
et al (2005) reported that attitudes toward menstruation  among women might be
characterized  into four themes: emphasis on biological processes,  being a normal part of a
woman’s life, link directly to pregnancy, and cleansing the system.

The notion of negativity surrounding  menstruation among families usually holds the
view of unclean menstrual  blood as pollutant, by the maintenance of secrecy and  seclusion
surrounding menstruation, and by physical discomfort  associated with menstruation. In
contrast, families with positive views  about menstruation posit that it revitalizes the body,
clears impurities and is indicative of childbearing potential (Moronkolu and Uzegbu, 2006).
It has been established that menstrual hygiene is influenced by such factors as
socioeconomic class, sports and genetic factors (Diegton, 1993). Studies have shown
that the age is another major factor determing menstrualhygiene especially in the
developed countries (Padez and Rocha, 2003). However, it has been postulated that this
might be due to either the effect of a ceasing improvement of environmental factors
/infrastructure facilities that take care of the young girl.

Many families lack the necessary knowledge about menstrual hygiene and some of
their children too lack accurate knowledge, while others are misinformed. Thus evidence of
menstrual maladjustment and menstrual related problems abound in the society. Future
research into the girls’ attitudes towards menstrual problems and those of their mothers
therefore is warranted. Health education targeting mothers may also benefit their daughters.
Primary health care workers could even encourage girls to adopt the menses chart once their
menarche is reached. Reviewing the menstrual chart with the girls may educate them and
rectify any misconception, and may also lead to earlier management of any underlying

Given this background, this research examines the family background of students and
how the socio-cultural, economic status, education of parents and religious views held by the
family affect menstrual hygiene among adolescents.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Ignorance concerning sexuality and menstrual hygiene has been identified as a major
factor contributing to teenage pregnancies and infections in young people. menstruation is a
normal female biological milestone and abnormalities of menstruation are a major
gynaecological problem in adolescence. Menstrual disorders include menstrual irregularity,
menorrhagia, dysmenorrhoea, and other related symptoms. menstrual irregularity affects
female adolescents, and a frequent cause of absenteeism from school or restriction of daily
activity. Moreover, family beliefs and cultural practices may affect attitudes towards
menstruation, which in turn may influence the views of adolescents on menstrual hygiene. In
many communities, adolescents tend to underutilize health  care services, which may have a
significant impact on the physical and social health of those affected. By contrast, there is
little knowledge on adolescents’ health-seeking behaviour  in regard to menstrual problems.
Availability of such information could be important for the development of appropriate
health care services and in the promotion of menstrual hygiene among girls in Nigerian
secondary schools. The study is set to identify the influence of family background on
adolescents towards menstrual hygiene.

1.3 Research Questions
i.  Would there be difference between religious background of thefamily and
adolescents attitude toward menstrual hygiene?
ii.  Would there be difference between economic status of the parents affect adolescents
attitude toward menstrual hygiene?
iii.  Would there be difference between educational status of parents affect adolescents
attitude toward menstrual hygiene?
iv.  Would there be difference between cultural background of the family and adolescents
attitude toward menstrual hygiene?

1.5 Research Hypotheses
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1.6 Significance of the Study
This will aid our knowledge about sexual health education and how parents influence
the adolescents attitude toward menstrual hygiene.

It will also show why there is need for parents and the school managers should
develop effective communication on educating young people about health education.

This contributes to the types of characteristics that explain the level of influence parents and
religious leaders have on the sexuality and health education of adolescents.

This study will bring about understanding with regard to what problems learners
encounter and what causes their sexual health behaviour. This will then allow the
development of improved strategies of help or intervention either by the teachers or the

Lastly, it will serve as a contribution to knowledge in the subject area. In this regard,
it will be useful for other researchers who might want to carry out research in related

1.7  Delimitation of the Study
This research work is delimited to public secondary schools students in Ijebu-Ife
metropolis, an area of Ogun State. The simple percentage method of data analysis will be
adopted to test the variables of family background and adolescents attitude towards
menstrual hygiene.

1.8 Limitation of the Study
Apart from timeframe and shortage of finance, the major limitation to this
research is the inability of the researcher to cover the whole public secondary schools
in Ijebu-Ife metropolis as the title suggest.

1.9  Definition of Terms
Adolescence (from Latin:  adolescere meaning “to grow up”) is a transitional stage of
physical and psychological human development generally occurring between puberty and
In human context, a family (from Latin:  familia) is a group of people affiliated by
consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence.

Menstruation is the shedding of the uterine lining (endometrium). It occurs on a
regular basis in sexually reproductive-age females of certain mammal species. Regular
menstruation (also called eumenorrhea) lasts for a few days, usually 3 to 5 days, but anywhere
from 2 to 8 days is considered normal.

Menstrual Hygiene
Personal hygiene during menstruation includes bathing and showering, and buying and using
sanitary protection products.




The Influence of Home Environment on the Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Nigeria


This study examined the impact of parental involvement on the academic performance of secondary school students using some selected schools in Ago-Iwoye Metropolis, an area of Ogun State as case study. Forty respondents comprising twenty students and twenty parents were randomly selected from the study area. Two hypotheses were developed to test the correlation between home environment and academic performance of students in secondary school. Questionnaire was used to gather data on gender, age, students’ study skills, socio-economic status of parents, and family description. To determine parenting style, parents completed the Parental Involvement and Dimension Questionnaire. Data was analyzed using chi square. Also, as hypothesized, academic performance of students in the selected schools was significantly positively correlated with a good home environment in the students’ education. The research contends that parental involvement at all grade levels can assist in the academic and behavioral performance of students. Hence, it is suggested that similar research with relevant research methodology should be used in carrying out research in other states of the Federation to ascertain the degree of conformity which this research have on the correlation between home environment and academic performance of students in Nigeria.



 1.1   Background to the Study                        

                   There have been several studies done within and outside Nigeria on the effects of home environment as well as the socio-economic status of parents on the academic achievement of students (Ajila  & Olutola,  2007; Uwaifo, 2012).  Research has found many factors that influence how well a student does in school and the amount of confidence the students have for themselves. However, in Nigeria, like other growing economies, families are finding it more difficult to stay connected with their children’s education. This is most common to families living in mega cities such as Lagos where both parents work outside of the home. Carmen (2007) noted that the extended family has become significantly less extended as mobility has increased. Parents are becoming isolated from their children and finding it difficult to keep a careful watch on what needs to be done to help them succeed in school. Many families are not even led by a parent, but by a grandparent, guardian, or some other adult.

                Prior to this time, in what is sometimes called a traditional Nigerian family environment, parents were able to monitor the school work of their children carefully  and actively participated in Parents-Teachers Associations purposely to monitor the progress of their children. Report cards were valued and trusted in the home as an accurate reflection of academic achievement. Parents were able to keep in touch with the school and the life of their children in the school, and to monitor success or lack thereof. When children came home from school, homework was completed, assignments finished, and other school works were done.

            With the changes in family life and indeed in societal makeup, schools are now finding it increasingly difficult to keep parents informed of and  actively engaged in the day-to-day progress of their children (Deslandes & Bertrand,  2005). Teachers and administrators are discovering that the support they once received in getting students to do their homework is not there, because the parents are not home to insist that students complete their assignments.

         It must be noted that while there are so many factors influencing the ability of students to progress academically, Ozmert (2005) emphasized the importance of environmental influence as a major factor in the development of students academic performance. The family background of the student, however is the most important factor that affects the student’s academic performance. In view of this, Hussain (2006) noted that secondary school students in public schools often come from economically poor and average income families. These families face various problems causing emotional disturbance among their children. They have poor academic performance. This singular factor shows how important the family is to academic achievement of students in secondary schools as well as the centrality of parents to the academic performance of students.

             Influence of home environment in students’ education has been a major topic of study for the later part of the twentieth century.  Baumrind (1971) has been credited for defining three specific parental involvement and their consequences for children. These are (a) authoritative, (b) authoritarian, and (c) permissive involvement of parents in children’s schooling based on levels of warmth and control used by the parent in disciplining the child.  According to Baumrind (1991), parental involvement is meant to capture normal variations in parents attempts to socialize children.  Parental involvement can be both supportive and unsupportive in their tone, both of which affect developmental outcomes and consequences to personality development. Baumrind described how parental involvement affect measures of competence, achievement, and social development.

         Although, students are primarily the ones for whom curricula are designed, textbooks are written, and schools built, parents are primarily the ones held responsible for preparing students for learning – preparation physically, psychologically, behaviorally, attitudinally, emotionally, and motivationally, just to name a few.

        Over the years, numerous theories and associated constructs have been formulated and have evolved to describe and explain these two independent variables, that is, home environment and students academic performance. For example, the behavioral learning theories of Thorndike, Watson, Skinner and, Hull, the cognitive learning theories of Piaget, Kolhberg, and Vygotsky, and the social learning theories of Bandura, have been used to pose and answer questions about students and parents. Dornbusch (1996), found empirical evidence of what most parents and educators know from experience – that parents have a strong influence on secondary school students.

        Steinberg and his colleagues conducted surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews with high school students and parents to better understand how parents, peers and communities influence students’ commitment to school.  The 10-year longitudinal study collected data from 20,000 students and 500 parents in nine ethnically diverse school and communities.  These researchers found that parents’ behaviors send clear and decisive messages about their thoughts and feelings on the importance of schooling.  They also found that parenting style helps or hinders a child’s engagement in school; that encouraging a child to do well in school or insisting that homework be completed were important forms of promoting engagement. These three tenets – communication, influence, and parenting style – are subsets of a larger domain, parental involvement.

           The aforementioned studies are not the only ones that speak to the issue of parenting involvement, but, here, serve only as a way of introducing the broader sphere. In this present study, home environment was studied in reference to its influence on the academic performance of students  in secondary school.

 1.2 Statement of the Problem

        Although, scholars have identified the correlation between parental influences on children academic performance in the primary school, it must be noted that secondary school students are different from the typical elementary-aged children and therefore reacts differently to direct parent involvement in their academics. The focus and indeed the intent of this study concern the relationship between home environment, with particular reference to parenting style and socio-economic status of parents; and secondary school students’ academic performance.

 1.3. Objectives of the Study

The primary aim of this study was to examine the influence of home environment on students’ academic performance. This general aim is expressed in the following specific objectives which are to:

  1. Examine the correlation between home environment and academic performance of students in secondary school;
  2. Examine factors determining the  home environment;
  3. Investigate the effects of the socio-economic status of parents on student’s academic performance;
  4. Examine the perceptions of students towards their parents in regards to parenting style and their academic performance.

1.4    Research Questions

  1. What relationship exists between the type of parental involvement and secondary school student academic achievement?

2.  Do socio-economic and educational background of parents affect their involvement in their children in secondary schools?

3       Do parenting style and parental involvement directly affect students academic performance?

4 Do perceptions of students about their parents affect their academic performance?

 1.5 Research Hypotheses

H01: There is no statistically significant difference between home environment and academic performance of students in secondary school.

H02: There is no statistically significant difference between socio-economic and educational background of parents and involvement in their children’s education

 1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study was limited by a convenience sample of approximately 20 (twenty) students from five secondary schools and 20 (twenty) parents from Ago-Iwoye Metropolis In Ogun State.

Apart from the shortage of fund and time frame, the following limits were found in the study:

1.  It is recognized that not every parent will fit neatly into a particular parenting style.  These parent-child pairs will be discarded from the sample.

2.  Some children will rate their parents as fair when in actuality they are not, therefore there will be some bias in the parents nominations.

3.  It is recognized that a parenting style may be chosen by a family due need rather than desire.

4.  The study was limited to the students whose parents gave consent for their participation, as well as, receiving the students’ assent.

5.  The accuracy of the data was limited by the skills of the researcher and validity of the tests administered.


1.7     Significance of the Study

This study will be useful to many people who may want to know the factors that could make or mar student’s academic performance. Therefore, the study is significant in the following regards:

  1. It has provide empirical evidence to schools, parents, and students about the nature of parental involvement and how it affects the academic performance of students
  2. It offers a reference for future research that might investigate the same variables.

1.7     Operational Definition of Terms

Home Environment: Home environment refers to aspects of peoples domestic lives that contribute to their living conditions. These factors may be physical (poverty, psychological conditions due to parenting; social circumstances (single parenting) or wider cultural patterns of life related to the location (Urban or rural environments).

Parent:  The term parent as used in this study includes, in addition to a natural  parent, a legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis, such as a grandparent or  stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for a child’s welfare.

 Parental Involvement: any form of verbal or non-verbal communication or assistance in reference to a child’s homework.

 Parenting Style: The overall emotional climate of the parent-child relationship- an affective context of sorts that sets the tone for the parents interactions with the child.

 Student academic achievement: This term refers to the student’s overall average  in science, social studies, English, and math, expressed as a percent grade. 

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