Conducting clinical post-conference in clinical teaching: a qualitative study

Li-Ling Hsu
Journal of Clinical Nursing 2007, 16 (8): 1525-33

AIM AND OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore nurse educators' perceptions regarding clinical postconferences. Additional aims included the exploration of interaction characteristics between students and faculty in clinical postconferences.

BACKGROUND: Nursing students are challenged to think and learn in ways that will prepare them for practice in a complex health care environment. Clinical postconferences give students the opportunity to share knowledge gained through transformative learning and provide a forum for discussion and critical thinking. Faculty members must guide students as the latter participate in discussions, develop problem-solving skills and express feedings and attitudes in clinical conferences.

METHODS: The study used qualitative research methods, including participant observation and an open-ended questionnaire. Participant observers watched interaction activities between teachers and students in clinical postconferences. A total of 20 clinical postconferences, two conferences per teacher, were observed. The Non-Numerical Unstructured Data Indexing Searching and Theory-building qualitative software program was used in data analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Research findings indicated that, of the six taxonomy questions, lower-level questions (knowledge and comprehensive questions) were mostly asked by faculty members' postclinical conferences. The most frequently used guideline was task orientation, which is related to practice goals and was found in discussions of assignments, reading reports, discussions of clinical experiences, role plays, psychomotor skill practice, quizzes and student evaluations.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: It is an essential responsibility of nurse educators to employ postconferences to assist students in applying their knowledge in practical situations, in developing professional values and in enhancing their problem solving abilities.

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