Indexed on: 28 May '20Published on: 28 May '20Published in: Nurse Education Today
A pediatric nursing practicum is essential in equipping students with basic knowledge of theory, professional attitudes, and skills for the clinical setting. However, students often face multiple challenges in the practicum due to gaps between theory and practice. To describe nursing students' first-time experiences in pediatric clinical practice in Taiwan. A phenomenological approach with purposive sampling was used. Twenty participants were interviewed individually, in person, within a month of completion of a pediatric nursing practicum. Interviews were semi-structured and digitally recorded. Data analysis followed Colaizzi's methods; epochs (bracketing) focused analysis on students' experiences and maintained objectivity. Three themes and related subthemes emerged: (a) orienting to the pediatric unit (becoming familiar with common treatments and surroundings in the pediatric unit; recognizing people in the unit); (b) encountering challenges in pediatric and family-centered care (navigating communication between child and families; student nurse-patient relationships: maintaining a good rapport with children and their families; being prepared for quick role changes); (c) translating knowledge into clinical practice thoughtfully (providing desirable and correct responses for children and their families; providing a safe and friendly environment for children and their families). Student nurses engaged in a variety of care practices necessitated by patients' differing ages, developmental levels, and family needs. Ensuring students' successful completion of the demanding pediatric practicum, including innovative communication, technical skills, and role transitions, is challenging yet achievable. Gaining a fuller understanding of nursing students' experiences in the pediatric nursing practicum can assist nursing professionals in preparing students to provide competent care for children and their families. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.