Purpose – This study aims to explore and understand first year nursing students’ experiences of learning at a clinical education ward. Design/methodology/approach – The setting is a clinical education ward for nursing students at a department of infectious diseases. A qualitative study was carried out exploring students’ encounters with patients, supervisors, students and other health care professionals. A total of 19 students were interviewed. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis investigating both the manifest and the latent content. Findings – The most important components in students’ learning are mutual relationships and a sense of belongingness. A mutual relationship between the students and the patients is created and becomes the basis of students’ learning. Belongingness means the students’ experience of being for real a part of the team taking care of the patients. Research limitations/implications – The study, while linked to a particular teaching hospital, offers insights of more general nature by linking the findings to a theory of transformative learning. Originality/value – This study adds a deeper understanding of students’ perspectives of significant characteristics to take into account when organizing clinical practice in health care education. Being entrusted and supported by a team of supervisors to take care of patients at a clinical education ward early in the education program provides an experience of internal and external authenticity. The students learn from, with and through the patients, which contributes to meaningful learning, understanding nursing, and professional development.
Health Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 15, 2013
Keywords: Medical education; Authenticity; Belongingness; Clinical education ward; Meaningful learning; Nursing students; Relationships; Education; Students; Nursing
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