Undergraduate nursing students’ transformative learning through disorientating dilemmas associated with end-of-life care simulation: A narrative inquiry study

Pauline Catherine Gillan, Sarah Jeong, Pamela van der Riet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Despite attempts, there remains a theory practice gap for undergraduate nursing students transitioning to clinical practice on graduation, especially for specialty areas of clinical practice, such as palliative care, where there are limited opportunities to gain specialty knowledge and skills. As a result, undergraduate nursing students largely feel unprepared for end-of-life care in clinical practice. End-of-life care simulation is gaining momentum for helping prepare students to undertake this important care. However, little is known of whether end-of-life care simulation is a transformative learning strategy that can be transferred to clinical practice. Aim: The aim of this paper is to report on undergraduate nursing students transformative learning through end-of-life care simulation. Design: A qualitative research design using narrative inquiry was used with data collected through semi-structured interviews and analysed using Clandinin and Connelly's three dimensions of narrative inquiry. Methods: Eighteen 3rd year undergraduate nursing students enrolled in a compulsory palliative care unit, at an Australian university participated in an immersive end-of-life care simulation. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analysed using Clandinin and Connelly's three dimensions of narrative inquiry. Results: This study revealed that transformative learning occurred through three disorientating dilemmas of: caring for a dying patient; approaching difficult conversations; and witnessing death for the first time. Knowledge of palliative care and clinical skills were also found to be transferred to clinical practice. Conclusions: End-of-life care simulation can be an effective method of promoting transformative learning and can help to reduce the gap from nursing theory to clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103174
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Volume55
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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