Understanding the optimal learning environment in palliative care

Connell, Shirley E., Yates, Patsy, & Barrett, Linda (2010) Understanding the optimal learning environment in palliative care. Nurse Education Today.

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The learning experiences of student nurses undertaking clinical placement are reported widely, however little is known about the learning experiences of health professionals undertaking continuing professional development (CPD) in a clinical setting, especially in palliative care. The aim of this study, which was conducted as part of the national evaluation of a professional development program involving clinical attachments with palliative care services (The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach [PEPA]), was to explore factors influencing the learning experiences of participants over time.

Thirteen semi-structured, one-to-one telephone interviews were conducted with five participants throughout their PEPA experience. The analysis was informed by the traditions of adult, social and psychological learning theories and relevant literature.

The participants' learning was enhanced by engaging interactively with host site staff and patients, and by the validation of their personal and professional life experiences together with the reciprocation of their knowledge with host site staff. Self-directed learning strategies maximised the participants' learning outcomes. Inclusion in team activities aided the participants to feel accepted within the host site. Personal interactions with host site staff and patients shaped this social/cultural environment of the host site.

Optimal learning was promoted when participants were actively engaged, felt accepted and supported by, and experienced positive interpersonal interactions with, the host site staff.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 38361
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: continuing professional development, end-of-life workforce, optimal learning environment, clinical placements
DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2010.08.012
ISSN: 0260-6917
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Elsevier
Deposited On: 07 Nov 2010 23:50
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:20

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