May I wash you? - Learning through experiencing vulnerability and controlled trials

Ragna Ingeborg Engelien, Solveig Struksnes


Background: Clinical skills training related to personal hygiene causes anxiety and stress among nursing students due to the fact that they use each other as “patients”. To justify this learning activity more knowledge about the students’ experiences and learning outcome is needed.

Aim: To describe how nursing students experience clinical skills training using one another as “patient”.

Method: Qualitative descriptive design. The sample was 187 nursing student in the first year of study, previous of their first clinical practice in nursing homes. Data collection was performed with questionnaires with open-ended questions. Inductive content analysis was performed.

Results: The students’ experiences being “patient” was condensed into 12 subcategories, underlying the four categories: Tention related to the role play, physical and mental vulnerability, assessment of the care and learning through bodily experience. Descriptions about being “nurse” ended in 12 subcategories an the four categories: Awareness of being in a role, to gain experience of being a nurse, turning one’s attention to the other and feeling prepared to clinical practice.

Conclusions: Performing and coping the challenging learning activity seems to increase the students’ self-confidence related to the coming clinical practice.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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