Guidelines for clinical facilitators to support student nurses in a simulation laboratory at a college of nursing in the Western Cape
Abrahams-Marra, Desiree J.
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The main benefit of simulation in nursing education is the ability to teach clinical skills in a non-threatening, safe environment where mistakes can be rectified without harm to any patient. Therefore, it is clinical facilitators who must display the knowledge and skills to impart to the student nurses during their 4-year programme of study. It is unclear how student nurses at a local nursing college view teaching and learning processes in the simulation laboratory. The purpose of this study is to explore student nurses‟ views of teaching and learning in a simulation laboratory with the purpose of describing guidelines for clinical facilitators to support student nurses in a simulation laboratory at a local College of Nursing in the Western Cape. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was used in order to explore and describe the views of student nurses about teaching and learning in the simulation laboratory. The ECP (Extended Curriculum Programme), 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students (N = 880), who were registered in the R425 programme at the College of Nursing in the Western Cape, had been identified as the accessible student population of this study. A purposive opportunistic sampling population was applied. Two focus groups (20 participants) per year of study were conducted. The size of each focus group was at least 10 participants. The focus group interviews lasted around 60 minutes per group. Data gathering was conducted by the researcher who initiated, prompted, and facilitated these focus groups. For the purpose of data triangulation, voice recordings of the interviews were supported by the taking of field notes. Open coding had been used for data analysis. The credibility of the coding was checked and confirmed by an independent coder. Trustworthiness was maintained, since credibility was ensured by means of prolonged engagement in the field until data saturation occurred, referential adequacy, and member checks that followed. Dependability was ensured by establishing an audit trail. Ethical considerations were ensured by obtaining written, informed consent from participants of the study, as well as for the voice recording of the discussions. Participants could withdraw at any stage of the study. Confidentiality was explained and the researcher requested that participants do not share the information after the group discussions. In this study, student nurses experienced both opportunities and challenges with the teaching and learning in the simulation laboratory. Furthermore, the contextual demands between the first and subsequent years of study seemed to play an essential part in their experience.