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Building connections in aged care: developing support structures for student nurses on placement in residential care: Final Report


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Robinson, AL, Venter, L, Andrews-Hall, S, Cubit, KA, Jongeling, L, Menzies, B and Fassett, MJ 2005 , Building connections in aged care: developing support structures for student nurses on placement in residential care: Final Report.

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The Building Connections in Aged Care research was conducted in Tasmania the island state of Australia between 2003 and 2006, and funded by Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and six participating residential aged care facilities (RACFs). It involved 61 nursing students who undertook a three week clinical placements in the facilities and 37 preceptors (mentors) who supported them during their placement. The project was undertaken over three stages: (1) scoping issues that impacted on teaching and learning in the six RACFs and their capacity to support nursing students (n=20) on a three week clinical placement; (2) a period of reporting, consultation and strategy development prior to implementing interventions to build capacity within the six RACFs to facilitate quality clinical placements for the next cohort of students (n=20), while concurrently mapping who students worked with and what they did during placements, and; (3) assessment of the sustainability of gains achieved in stage 2 with a third cohort of students (n=21). Stage 1 findings highlighted the limited capacity within aged care facilities to effectively support students. Of note, the study highlighted students lack of preparation for practice in a RACF, their poor experience of teaching and learning and the inadequacy of orientation programs, all of which had an extremely negative impact on their placement experience. On entry, 50% indicated a possible/definite willingness to work in the sector following graduation while on exit this figure did not improve. Stage 2 findings revealed a great improvement in student-stated willingness to work in an RACF following graduation (an increase from 50% on entry to 90% at completion), together with a significant improvement in facility orientation and preceptor capacity to support effective teaching and learning. As well, the use of a Supervision and Placement Activities Log tended to support that supervision of students greatly influences their experience of teaching and learning. Stage 3 demonstrated the sustainability of improvement in the context of ongoing research support.

Item Type: Report (Project Report)
Authors/Creators:Robinson, AL and Venter, L and Andrews-Hall, S and Cubit, KA and Jongeling, L and Menzies, B and Fassett, MJ
Keywords: Aged care, preceptorship, student nurses, residential care, nursing homes
Publisher: University of Tasmania
DOI / ID Number: ISBN: 1 86295 235 3
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