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Is there a skills deficit in student nurse education?

  • Comments (6)

A recently Student Nursing Times Twitter chat discussed this issue. This transcript gives their views on whether their education equips them for practice.

  • Have you identified a skills deficit in newly qualified nurses?
  • Is it a skills rather than a values deficit that underpins poor quality care?
  • How can we ensure student nurses are confident in essential skills before qualifying?

 

  • Comments (6)

Readers' comments (6)

  • Anonymous

    As a previous Ward Sister, I did notice how young student nurses could not empathise with patients very well. Nurse training is all about empathising with the person they are looking after, not about a list of tasks to get done within their shift time.
    Communication skills is a key part of the training and sadly is lacking with the updated method.
    Students must be taught how to manage their time and always, always acknowledge each and everyone of their patients as the 'star' rather than look down on them, which is what I have witnessed in the past.
    Dementia care and awareness plays a key role in making sure that each person is the full focus of the nurses role when they are treating/caring for them. This comes with experience and senior staff must mentor their students in a easier way for them to grasp this.

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  • Anonymous

    Bring back a two tier nursing system like the enrolled nurses who had a huge part to play by being professional and more 'hands on' with patients, rather than untrained health care assistants who are provided with basic training. (Some are exceptional so not knocking them)
    And have the university trained nurses who have the knowledge behind them for the technical nursing. But get your Ward Manager right - because they are the one's who lead by example. Young Ward Managers don't work, I've seen too many having their authority being trashed. Experience is the key.

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  • Anonymous

    There may be a skills deficit in a number of student nurses - and if there is, then as their mentors (responsible for 50% of their time in education) then we need to up our game!! We cannot sit back and keep blaming them, or their university courses for them being "too posh to wash", or "all theory and no experience" - or any of the other derogatory terms used to describe the current incarnation of university educated students.

    Students need to be educated, during their thousands of hours of practical experience, by nurses who are more aware of how pivotal their role is. University is only half of it - but the skills development, and their ability to link that to their theoretical understanding, has to happen right here - in practice.

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 10-Jul-2013 9:54 am

    No. It is too easy and entirely false to blame RN mentors for being responsible for 50% of the training of student nurses.
    Address the content of the course, support the mentors in clinical practice being ensuring that they have the time, resources and ongoing training/education to mentor their students. Stop sending students into clinical placement with increasingly baffling (to the students as well) and ever changing paperwork for completion and a list of does and don'ts! Student Nurse mentors are not given anywhere near enough time and support in their role. They have no say in what the students are expected to learn, or whether or not it is relevant. If you are going to hand over 50% of the responsibility, then you had better listen and act upon the contribution that RN mentors should be making to the course content and structure of nurse training/education.
    Then and only then, can you think about blaming us for half of their education

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  • I don't know whether there is a skills deficit or not. No system can ever be perfect. I began (University) nurse training in February 1997. My class "benefited" from the the previous system of modular on-the-job training having been thrown out the window lock, stock and barrel in the desperation to embrace University based education.

    Result? I have to say the 3 year training was total garbage and that is putting it generously. With "practice" having become a dirty word and "observation" and -God help us -"reflection" being the orders of the day I arrived at the end of 3 years without the confidence or skills needed to be even an effective novice Staff Nurse.

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  • michael stone

    Phillipe Cook | 13-Jul-2013 11:31 am

    Not my area of expertise, Phillipe, but isn't it fairly obvious that the nurse-patient interaction is a very significant part of a nurses job ? So, if you were commenting that you had very limited face-to-face experience with patients during your training (which I took it to mean) and that left you inadequately prepared for life on the wards, then surely that isn't surprising !?

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