Perceived stress of first year nursing students associated with the first objective structured clinical examination at a university in the Western Cape
Emebigwine, Dorothee Line Adibone
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The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is widely accepted as an effective means of assessing clinical competence and nursing skills. However, little is known the stress amongst first year nursing students associated with the first OSCE in all universities. In view of the paucity of literature available on stress associated with the OSCE, this study determined the perception of stress by the first year nursing students' associated with their first OSCE at this university. A quantitative, descriptive survey design is employed. The instrument used is an adapted form of an existing self-administered Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) questionnaire. This measures perception of stress, factors causing stress and the incidence of stress. Of the total of 213 first year nursing students who were invited to be part of the study, 82 completed the questionnaires. This represents a response rate of 38%. The data was analysed using Statistica 13. Descriptive statistics are used do the calculations. The results are presented in percentages and tables.The findings indicate that more than half (n=54), of the respondents experienced moderate stress levels. For these respondents, the most prevalent factor causing stress was the insufficient time to complete the OSCE. Ninety three percent (93%) (n=74) of the respondents perceived the incidence of stress at a moderate level. There was a statistically significant difference between those who perceived factors causing stress at a low level and those who perceived factors causing stress at a moderate level. Based on the findings of the study on perception of stress during the OSCE, it is recommended that practice session assessments should be conducted throughout the year to help to reduce stress for students during the OSCE. A follow-up qualitative research study should also be conducted in the same setting so the students’ experiences of stress during the first OSCE can be explored in depth. Although the relatively small sample of this study (38%) means the results cannot be generalised, this study does contribute to the literature on the stress experienced during the OSCE.