An evaluation of clinical facilitation in the Nursing College of the Eastern Cape province
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Clinical teaching and training is undertaken to correlate theory and practice (Mellish et al., 1998:211). Clinical teaching is the means by which student nurses learn to apply the theory of nursing in a clinical situation so that an integration of theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the clinical situation becomes the art and science of nursing. (Mellish et al., 1998:207). The role of the lecturer/facilitator is to bridge the theory-practice gap between nursing education and practice. Since the merger of the nursing colleges in the Eastern Cape Province (South Africa) and the abolishment of the clinical department in the hospital it became essential to evaluate the clinical facilitation needs of students and tutors. For the purpose of this study the researcher evaluated the clinical facilitation, with the focus area being on the clinical needs and problems of nursing tutors and nursing students at a nursing college in the Eastern Cape Province. The objectives of this study were to determine the following: the clinical facilitation needs of student nurses of the Nursing College, clinical facilitation needs of tutors of the Nursing College, clinical facilitation related problems facing student nurses and tutors in the Nursing College and associations between the clinical facilitation of the campuses of the Nursing College. The following research question was evaluated: What are the needs and problems of nursing students and tutors in clinical facilitation at the Lilitha Nursing College? The research methodology was a descriptive exploratory design with a quantitative approach. The population for this study was the fourth-year nursing students, and all tutors of the nursing college. A convenient sample was drawn. All students available at the time of data collection were included in the study. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data. The final sample of students was N =100 (45%) of a total population of 222 students. The final sample of tutors was N=35 (36%) of a population of 97. Reliability and validity were assured by means of a pilot study and the use of experts in nursing education, research methodology and statistics. Data were collected personally by the researcher. Ethical approval was obtained from Stellenbosch University, Department of Health ECP, and Head of the Nursing College and Principals of the campuses. Informed written consent was obtained from the participants. Statistical associations with reference to clinical facilitation between the various campuses of the nursing college were determined using the Chi-square tests. The results of this study are presented in percentages, tables and histograms. On completion of the study the following recommendations were made: standardization of policies and procedures; preplanning and publishing of clinical placement dates; manuals, rules, student needs and outcomes be available before clinical placement; improvement of communication between clinical staff, facilitators and students; improvement of infrastructure, equipment and materials.