Title : Nursing students learning in clinical settings and skill lab
This paper reports on a qualitative study with the aim to investigate learning possibilities in two arenas. Usually, all first-year nursing students practice in skill lab. In this case, students practiced in clinical settings or skill lab. The design took a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach. The setting was Course 2, a ten-week course with two weeks of practicing. The participants were six students, who volunteered. Data were generated by participant observations and interviews and interpreted according to Ricoeurs theory of interpretation. The findings indicated that students learned nursing skills in both places. Though, in clinical placements students and preceptors began nursing the patients rather quickly and afterwards they reflected on practice. In skill lab, up to an hour was used to guide the students before they were ready to begin to perform nursing, as they felt it difficult to imagine the symptoms and resources of the patient. The lessons ended with a brief evaluation. Students with previous nursing experience and activist learning style preferred the relations with the patients. Students in skill lab had reflector style or theorist style as their preferred learning style. Two had no experience; one had experience but expected to gain more theoretical knowledge in skill lab. Students in skill lab felt safe, as there was no risk to harm patients if they failed. The conclusion was that instead of having all students practicing in skill lab, faculty could take into considerations the experience and the preferred learning style of students when deciding where students were to practice.