Clinical learning is regarded as a vital component in nursing programmes and students need to work in various clinical environments. In the emergency nursing programme presented at a tertiary nursing education institution, the pre-hospital environment is used as a clinical learning environment in which students rotate for approximately eight weeks. The clinical experience that they gain may assist in them developing the necessary knowledge and skills. It also assists in theory-practice correlation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the value of the pre-hospital environment utilised as part of the clinical learning component of the emergency nursing programme. A qualitative approach was utilised since the researcher wanted to study a particular phenomenon, namely the pre-hospital learning environment. Therefore, the research design was a descriptive design whereby the researcher could describe the real life situation in the pre-hospital learning environment as experienced by the emergency nurse students. The target population for the study was emergency nurses who had already obtained their qualification as a registered emergency nurse, as well as emergency nurse students that had completed their rotational period in the pre-hospital learning environment. For the purpose of this study the identified sample consisted of students enrolled for the emergency nursing programme at a tertiary nursing education institution in Gauteng. The sample was adequate to provide the researcher with sufficient in-depth data and was also representative of the accessible population. The final sample size was 45 emergency nurse students who had completed the pre-hospital rotational period between 2008 and 2011. Data collection was done by means of Appreciative Inquiry, a method used that not only focuses on the positive, but which is also a stimulating way of looking at organisational change. Stories (narratives) were shared by the emergency nurse students pertaining to their real life experiences. Initially stories were shared in writing on an Appreciative Inquiry interview schedule. For the purpose of data saturation, individual Appreciative interviews were conducted by an independent interviewer, utilising the Appreciative Inquiry interview schedule as a guide. Data analysis was conducted by the interviewer, supervisors and an independent data analyser to ensure trustworthiness. Four themes were identified, namely clinical exposure, competencies, team work and future recommendations. From the data analysis and the four themes recommendations could be made with regard to programme refinement. Copyright
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2013.