Text messaging to support off-campus clinical facilitators of undergraduate student nurses
Fox, Amanda, Howard, Christine, & Coyer, Fiona (2013) Text messaging to support off-campus clinical facilitators of undergraduate student nurses. In Australasian Nurse Educators Conference, 9-11 October 2013, Wellington, New Zealand. (Unpublished)
Managing large cohorts of undergraduate student nurses during off-campus clinical placement is complex and challenging. Clinical facilitators are required to support and assess nursing students during clinical placement. Therefore clear communication between university academic coordinators and clinical facilitators is essential for consistency and prompt management of emerging issues. Increasing work demands require both coordinators and facilitators to have an efficient and effective mode of communication. The aim of this study was to explore the use of Short Message Service (SMS) texts, sent between mobile phones, for communication between university Unit Coordinators and off-campus Clinical Facilitators.
This study used an after-only design. During a two week clinical placement 46 clinical facilitators working with first and second year Bachelor of Nursing students from a large metropolitan Australian university were regularly sent SMS texts of relevant updates and reminders from the university coordinator. A 15 item questionnaire comprising x of 5 point likert scale and 3 open-ended questions was then used to survey the clinical facilitators.
The response rate was 47.8% (n=22). Correlations were found between the approachability of the coordinator and facilitator perception of a) that the coordinator understood issues on clinical placement (r=0.785, p<0.001,), and b) being part of the teaching team (r=0.768, p<0.001). Analysis of responses to qualitative questions revealed three themes: connection, approachability and collaboration.
Results indicate that SMS communication is convenient and appropriate in this setting. This quasi-experimental after-test study found regular SMS communication improves a sense of connection, approachability and collaboration.
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