Clinical placements in residential aged care facilities: the impact on nursing students' perception of aged care and the effect on career plans

Abbey, Jennifer A., Abbey, Brian R., Bridges, Pamela, Elder, Ruth L., Lemcke, Pam M., Liddle, Jacki M., & Thornton, Robert N. (2006) Clinical placements in residential aged care facilities: the impact on nursing students' perception of aged care and the effect on career plans. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 23(4), pp. 14-19.

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Undergraduate nursing students have often found clinical placements in aged care unsatisfactory and/or unsettling, dissuading them from considering aged care as an employment option on graduation. This study asked which elements of the clinical placement experience produced that outcome; and what changes could yield more positive outcomes. DESIGN: A descriptive qualitative pilot study was carried out in late 2003. A combination of nominal groups and semi-structured interviews was used with students and experienced nurses to identify commonalities and variations in issues nominated as important and in the views expressed on those issues. Transcripts were independently analysed by two experienced investigators. Themes identified were discussed among the researchers. SUBJECTS: Fourteen volunteer undergraduate nursing students, all of whom had completed clinical placements in residential care and some of whom had prior experience in such facilities, participated in the nominal groups. Twelve registered nurses who had acted as clinical teachers in aged care facilities were interviewed. RESULTS: Perceived issues included: unexamined assumptions about nursing's core skills; lack of pre-placement orientation to the residential care environment; the appeal of and apprehension aroused by autonomous practice; and status, income and career progression considerations. CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of the sometimes ambivalent and conflicting views expressed pointed to possible changes, all within the domain of training and employing institutions, capable of bringing submerged issues to the surface for examination and resolution as part of raising student understanding of gerontology as a demanding specialty and residential care as a rewarding career.

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58 citations in Scopus
41 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 9110
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: ciinicai experience, undergraduate nursing, nursing students, aged care, novice nurses, HERN
ISSN: 0813-0531
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Aged Care Nursing (111001)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Australian Nursing Federation
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 22 Aug 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2015 06:03

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