R.W.S.CHONG1, G.Y.H.TAN1, P.W.GOH1
Tan Tock Seng Hospital1
Clinical attachment contributes to a huge component of the nursing curriculum. Students learn to integrate theory into clinical practice through the day-to-day care of actual patients under the supervision of professional nurses. This study aims to find out the nursing students clinical experiences at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).
One-on-one semi-structured interviews with final year nursing students were held between January to August 2019. Students who volunteered in the study would have at least two clinical attachments at TTSH. Opinions to choosing TTSH, good and bad experiences during their attachment and suggestions for improvement were gathered. Recordings were transcribed and analyzed by multiple coders using thematic analysis.
Thirteen post-secondary nursing students were interviewed. Students chose TTSH either through word of mouth or based on their personal past experiences. This was evident when 85% (11/13) of them said that they were impressed with the strong teaching culture and teamwork amongst teachers, with even enrolled nurses willing to provide guidance at the bedside. Students appreciated classroom discussions, additional learning activities and resources provided by hospital faculty, which they found beneficial and enhanced their learning. Half of them had also felt that they were treated as ‘invisible’ during their attachments. Afternoon shifts were ‘slow’ and ‘dull’ with requests for teaching faculty to be available during these lull moments.
This study acknowledges the hospital’s strong ward teaching culture and the robust clinical training. Strategies can be employed to manage the gap between students’ expectations and reality to provide enhanced clinical learning experience.