Nursing students' experiences and perceptions of the nurse mentorship system in a hospital-based nursing educational programme

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Nursing students' experiences and perceptions of the nurse mentorship system in a hospital-based nursing educational programme

 

Author: Wong, Sau-ling Acca
Title: Nursing students' experiences and perceptions of the nurse mentorship system in a hospital-based nursing educational programme
Degree: M.Ed.
Year: 2000
Subject: Mentoring in nursing -- China -- Hong Kong
Nursing -- Study and teaching -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Educational Development Unit
Pages: x, 152 p. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1538374
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5401
Abstract: The provision of clinically based education for nursing students is an essential part of their learning experiences. Identifying effective strategies for promoting learning in the clinical setting continues to pose challenges for nurse educators. Mentorship has been widely adopted as an approach for enhancing learning in the clinical setting in nursing education. Despite an apparent consensus that mentorship is an important aspect of learning in continuing education in the practice setting, there has been some evidence that mentorship can also give rise to some negative perceptions and experiences for part of the mentees (Roche, 1979). This study aimed to examine the mentoring system in nursing education from the nursing students' perspectives. It explored the experiences and perceptions of the nursing students of the nurse mentorship system in a hospital-based nursing educational programme, and investigated how those experiences and perceptions might relate to the quantity and quality of interactions between the mentors and the mentees within and outside the clinical setting. The study was conducted in a hospital under the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong. The study adopted a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches, data being gathered through questionnaires and interviews. Participants were 234 students enrolled in the nursing educational programme of the hospital. 24 of the participants were subsequently selected for individual interviews. Results indicated that there were substantive discrepancies between students' actual experiences and their perceptions of an ideal nurse mentorship system. These substantive discrepancies were demonstrated particularly in organizing time together to discuss with mentors, giving mentee clear instruction/explanation of students' role at the beginning of the clinical practicum, and giving students regular feedback on students' progress. Significant differences were also found in students' actual mentorship experiences across years of study and specialties of clinical practicum. The findings showed that Year 3 students tended to rate their mentorship experiences more favourably than the Years 1 and 2 students did, while the students in the gynaecological and orthopaedic units tended to rate their actual experiences more favourably than those in the surgical and medical & geriatric units. Furthermore, from the interview data, the benefits and barriers of the nurse mentorship system were identified. The benefits of the mentoring system to the students included acquiring specific clinical knowledge, practical experiences, and skills, improving the students' communication skills with the mentors, patients, and other related persons in the clinical areas, and developing a sense of belonging in the clinical areas. Enthusiasm and empathy, knowledgeable and experienced in the clinical practice, and possession of good teaching skills were reported to be the greatest assets for a good mentor. Lack of time to work with students, busy ward situations, lack of choice in selecting the mentors, personality clashes, mentors' lack of eagerness to teach, and mentors' indifferent attitudes towards students were cited as the greatest barriers. Factors contributing to the overall gain of the students were identified. The quantity and quality of interaction between the students and mentors was also investigated. Students who were most satisfied or reported to have gained most from the mentorship experiences tended to meet their mentors more often, in both formal and informal settings, and had discussions on a wider variety of issues. Finally, implications of the results were discussed in terms of selection and training of mentors, changes in the mentoring system needed, and orientation for the mentees.

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