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Title: Cultural issues in pre-registered mental health student nurses' clinical placements : an anthropologically informed critical incident study
Author: Bassett, A. M.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2013
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The aim of this anthropologically informed qualitative study was to explore the primary cultural issues in mental health student nurses’ clinical placements and to explore how these issues in placements were dealt with, from the perspectives of years two and three mental health student nurses and their undergraduate university nursing educators. ‘Critical incident’ (Fitzgerald, 2000) focused ethnographic interviews (Spradley, 1979) were undertaken with a self-selected and purposive sample of 36 second and third year mental health nursing branch students, and 7 undergraduate mental health nursing branch educators across four nursing education centres in northern England. Member checking at descriptive and analytical levels was carried out, and these checks allowed for further exploration with the research participants to take place. Thematic analysis revealed that the primary issue to emerge from participants’ ‘critical incident’ accounts of cultural issues in clinical placements were problems with differentiating psychopathology from culturally validated phenomena. This issue relates to the clinical anthropological concept of the ‘normative uncertainty’ evaluation dilemma (Good and Good, 1986), and was particularly associated with concerns around assessing the clinical significance of service users’ religious beliefs, experiences, or practices. The clinical implications presented by this dilemma seemed to be exacerbated by a shortfall in culture specific knowledge, structural organisational issues, and the professional ideological orientation of the placement setting. Whilst the participants mentioned some strategies for dealing with the ‘normative uncertainty’ evaluation dilemma, one of the key lessons to be drawn from the ‘critical incident’ data is that student nurses and their colleagues in clinical placement should be encouraged to view the experiences of their service users in context. In the absence of previous empirical research on the ‘multicultural clinical interactions’ (Fitzgerald, 1992) of mental health student nurses, this explorative study clarifies the importance of cultural issues and the theoretical base of clinical anthropology and cultural psychiatry to mental health nursing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available