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A medical play experience: Preparing undergraduate nursing students for clinical practice


Reid-Searl, K and Crowley, K and Anderson, C and Blunt, N and Cole, R and Suraweera, D, A medical play experience: Preparing undergraduate nursing students for clinical practice, Nurse Education Today, 100 Article 104821. ISSN 0260-6917 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2021 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2021.104821


Background: Undergraduate nursing programs are required to prepare nursing students to care for people across the lifespan, however due to limited paediatric nursing content in undergraduate nursing curricula and limited paediatric clinical placements, nursing graduates may lack competence and experience in caring for children.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to enhance undergraduate nursing students' work readiness and confidence to care for children by immersing them in a mock paediatric ward experience where students could practice using medical play to communicate and engage with children.

Participants: Participants (n = 22) were undergraduate nursing students recruited across all years from a Bachelor of Nursing program.

Design: Participants were involved in a mock paediatric hospital experience providing them the opportunity to engage with children from 2 to 8 years.

Methods: A mixed methods approach was used. Participants completed a confidence scale questionnaire pre and post the mock paediatric ward experience and a satisfaction scale post the experience. Inductive thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data. Quantitative data was analysed using the Wilcoxon Signed-Ranked Test.

Results: Findings indicated a marked improvement in paediatric nursing skills and work readiness among the student nurses post intervention. Participants developed confidence in the use of medical play in the mock paediatric nursing setting. Improvements in paediatric nursing skills in relation to clinical learning, clinical reasoning and clinical confidence were reported.

Conclusions: The mock children's ward provided a real time paediatric experience for undergraduate nursing students to practice using medical play to communicate and engage with children. Nursing students had the opportunity to experience children's play, practice age related communication and provide explanations to children about hospital related procedures that children may encounter. With the lack of paediatric placements, it is necessary that nursing curricula examine strategies to enhance the learning for undergraduate students about paediatrics.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:child, medical play, nursing students and paediatrics, paediatric, paediatric placement
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Reid-Searl, K (Professor Kerry Reid-Searl)
ID Code:153657
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2022-09-30
Last Modified:2022-11-17

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