Preceptors’ perspectives of an integrated clinical learning model in a mental health environment Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Supervised clinical practice is an essential component of undergraduate nursing students' learning and development. In the mental health setting, nursing students traditionally undertake four-week block placements. An integrated clinical learning model, where preceptors mentor students on an individual basis, has been used successfully in the clinical learning environment. This flexible model provides the opportunity for students to work across morning, afternoon, night and weekend shifts. There is a need to improve the evidence base for a flexible model for students undertaking a mental health placement. The aim of this study was to understand preceptors' experience of, and satisfaction with, a mental health integrated clinical learning model. Focus groups were used to elicit the views of preceptors from a mental health service. Findings highlight the advantages and disadvantages of an integrated clinical learning model in the mental health setting. Participants suggested that students may benefit from flexible work arrangements, a variety of experiences and a more realistic experience of working in a mental health service. However, they found it challenging to mentor and evaluate students under this model. Most also agreed that the model impeded students' ability to engage with consumers and develop rapport with staff. The findings indicate the need to develop a placement model that meets the unique needs of the mental health setting.

publication date

  • 2018