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Title: Student nurses' perceptions of the role of the healthcare assistant and the influence of assistants on students clinical learning
Author: Hasson , Felicity
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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Aims and objectives: The aim of this study was to explore health care assistants' (HCAs) role and influence on student nurses' clinical learning experience. Objectives induded the identification of pertinent issues relating to HCAs and students' learning in the clinical environment; the exploration of the differences and similarities of the work student nurses and HeA, their perceptions and experiences of roles and the identification of the impact of the HCAs role on the quality of student's clinical learning. Theoretical framework: To understand the relationship between HCA's and student nurses a symbolic interactionist framework was adopted, which is concerned with how people define and redefine themselves and their situation. Method: A three phased sequential exploratory mixed method research design was used, which involved a combination of prioritised qualitative and quantitative research approaches. In the first phase focus groups and interviews were undertaken witb 45 purposively selected student nurses whilst a questionnaire was disseminated in phase two to 439 students from both adult and mental health branch. The final phase involved oneto- one semi-structured interviews witb a III HCAs across private and public clinical settings. Results from the first analysis were used to inform the second phase of data collection and similarly, results from the second analysis were used to inform the third phase of data collection. Results: The study findings have provided an in sight into a range of contextual issues that influence the interactions and relationship between HCAs and student nurses which have a positive and negative influence on clinical learning experience and roles. Results demonstrate that HCAs playa major part in the education of student nurses with regards basic, clinical, and non-clinical tasks, with and without the approval of registered staff. Their participation was justified based on mentor unavailability, their closeness to the student and the patient. Conclusion: Mechanisms of workforce planning need to pay particular attention to the expanding role of assistants as it has the potential to alter patterns of work and affect current educational approaches.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available