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Houghton, C. E., Casey, D., Shaw, D., & Murphy, K.
Nurse Education Today
Staff and students' perceptions and experiences of teaching and assessment in Clinical Skills Laboratories: Interview findings from a multiple case study.
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Background The Clinical Skills Laboratory has become an essential structure in nurse education and several benefits of its use have been identified. However, the literature identifies the need to examine the transferability of skills learned there into the reality of practice. Objective This research explored the role of the Clinical Skills Laboratory in preparing nursing students for the real world of practice. This paper focuses specifically on the perceptions of the teaching and assessment strategies employed there. Design Qualitative multiple case study design. Setting Five case study sites. Participants Interviewees (n=58) included academic staff, clinical staff and nursing students. Methods Semi-structured interviews. Results The Clinical Skills Laboratory can provide a pathway to practice and its authenticity is significant. Teaching strategies need to incorporate communication as well as psychomotor skills. Including audio-visual recording into assessment strategies is beneficial. Effective relationships between education institutions and clinical settings are needed to enhance the transferability of the skills learned. Conclusions The Clinical Skills Laboratory should provide an authentic learning environment, with the appropriate use of teaching strategies. It is crucial that effective links between educators and clinical staff are established and maintained.
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