Stress and challenge of psychiatric nursing clinical experiences.
Clinical learning experiences provide a means for developing the knowledge, skills, and values essential for practice in nursing. Although some research has examined student stress in the beginning of a clinical course, few studies have focused on the stress of clinical practice at the completion of a course. This research examined the stress and challenge of psychiatric clinical experiences in both associate and baccalaureate nursing programs. Students (N = 476) from 12 randomly selected programs completed the Clinical Stress Questionnaire; 81 students were completing psychiatric nursing courses. Students in psychiatric courses reported moderate degrees of stress and challenge in their clinical experiences and positive emotions associated with their clinical practicum. In comparison with other courses in the curriculum, however, psychiatric clinical courses were among the least challenging. Findings suggest the need for innovative clinical teaching strategies that challenge students and extend their thinking about care of psychiatric patients.
Oermann, MH; Sperling, SL
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