‘Am I a student or a Health Care Assistant?’ A qualitative evaluation of a programme of pre-nursing care experience.

Journal article


Whiffin, Charlotte Jane, Baker, D., Henshaw, L., Nichols, Julia J. and Pyer, Michelle 2018. ‘Am I a student or a Health Care Assistant?’ A qualitative evaluation of a programme of pre-nursing care experience. Journal of Advanced Nursing.. https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.13788
AuthorsWhiffin, Charlotte Jane, Baker, D., Henshaw, L., Nichols, Julia J. and Pyer, Michelle
Abstract

Aim To examine the experiences of pre‐nursing Health Care Assistants during a six‐month programme of pre‐nursing care experience. Background Care experience prior to commencing programmes of nurse education is broadly considered to be advantageous. However, it is not clear how formal care experience prior to nurse education has an impact on the values and behaviours of the aspirant nurse. Design A longitudinal prospective qualitative study using focus group discussions. Methods Data were collected from 23 pre‐nursing health care assistants during September 2013 ‐ February 2014. Three focus groups were held at the beginning, middle and end of the programme of care experience at each of the participating hospitals. A thematic analysis was used to analyse data sets from each hospital. Findings from each hospital were then compared to reach final themes. Results Five major themes were identified in the analysis of qualitative data: personal development; positioning of role in the healthcare team; support and supervision; perceived benefits; and advice and recommendations. These themes were underpinned by deep aspirations for better care and better nurses in the future. Conclusions Pre‐nursing care experience can positively prepare aspirant nurses for programmes of nurse education. The benefits identified were confirmation of aspiration (or otherwise) to pursue nursing; learning opportunities and aspiration to improve patient experience. Risks for the programme included poor supervision; role ambiguity or confusion; demotivation through a deteriorating view of nursing and poor treatment by others. The longer‐term impact on values and behaviours of this cohort requires further evaluation.

Aim
To examine the experiences of pre‐nursing Health Care Assistants during a six‐month programme of pre‐nursing care experience.

Background
Care experience prior to commencing programmes of nurse education is broadly considered to be advantageous. However, it is not clear how formal care experience prior to nurse education has an impact on the values and behaviours of the aspirant nurse.

Design
A longitudinal prospective qualitative study using focus group discussions.

Methods
Data were collected from 23 pre‐nursing health care assistants during September 2013 ‐ February 2014. Three focus groups were held at the beginning, middle and end of the programme of care experience at each of the participating hospitals. A thematic analysis was used to analyse data sets from each hospital. Findings from each hospital were then compared to reach final themes.

Results
Five major themes were identified in the analysis of qualitative data: personal development; positioning of role in the healthcare team; support and supervision; perceived benefits; and advice and recommendations. These themes were underpinned by deep aspirations for better care and better nurses in the future.

Conclusions
Pre‐nursing care experience can positively prepare aspirant nurses for programmes of nurse education. The benefits identified were confirmation of aspiration (or otherwise) to pursue nursing; learning opportunities and aspiration to improve patient experience. Risks for the programme included poor supervision; role ambiguity or confusion; demotivation through a deteriorating view of nursing and poor treatment by others. The longer‐term impact on values and behaviours of this cohort requires further evaluation.

KeywordsPre-registration nursing; Nurse education; Care; Nursing
Year2018
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing.
PublisherWiley
ISSN03092402
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.13788
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622875
hdl:10545/622875
Publication dates10 Jul 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited31 Jul 2018, 09:33
Accepted04 Oct 2017
Rights

Archived with thanks to Journal of Advanced Nursing

ContributorsUniversity of Derby, University of Northampton, Senior Lecturer in Nursing; College of Health and Social Care; University of Derby, Head of Allied Health and Social Care; College of Health and Social Care; University of Derby, Head of Post-Graduate Health Care; College of Health and Social Care; University of Derby, Senior Lecturer in Nursing; Faculty of Health and Society; University of Northampton and Senior Researcher; Faculty of Health and Society; University of Northampton
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