Evaluating the influence of clinical experience on the academic performance of student midwives
This study was evaluating the influence of clinical experience on the academic performance of student midwives. The total population for the study is 200 students of selected nursing schools in Akwa Ibom state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up final year students, year 4 students, year 3 students and year 2 students were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
- Background of the study
Attitude plays a major role in leading human toward achieving the desired goals, awareness of its consequences, and effective processing of complex information. Students’ attitude towards clinical practice could be affected by a clinical environment, student staff interaction, clinical preceptors, and the availability of necessary equipment in a hospital setting
Lack of interest in what people do could decrease the quality of work. More than half of all healthcare providers are Midwives and Nurse in the healthcare setting. Hence, if the attitude of Nursing and Midwifery professionals is not favorable, the quality of health care could be compromised in a significant manner. In Nigeria, students join Nursing and Midwifery degree programs directly after completing secondary education which demands intensive clinical training to acquire Nursing and Midwifery competencies
In nursing programmes, students are exposed to both theoretical and practical components. The combination of theory and practice in the clinical setting is seen by Mabuda, Potgieter, and Alberts (2008) as the “art and science of nursing” (p. 19). Clinical learning is a vital component of nursing education. In addition to providing opportunities to develop competence in nursing skills, the clinical environment engenders in nursing students a sense of identity as professionals in the real world. This is because to complete the practical component of their training; the nursing students are assigned to a hospital or clinic under the supervision of experienced nurse practitioners and/or educators. Clinical supervision is defined as “a process of professional support and learning in which nurses are assisted in developing their practice through regular discussion time with experienced and knowledgeable colleagues” (Fowler, 1996, as cited in Brunero & Stein-Parbury, 2008, p. 87). Brunero and Stein-Parbury (2008) stated that clinical supervision “provides nurses with the opportunity to improve patient care in particular for a given patient and in general in relation to maintaining standards of care” (p. 87). For clinical learning and supervision to occur successfully, Mabuda, Potgieter, and Alberts (2008) appointed to the need for the clinical environment to be conducive to learning as well as to be supportive. This is because such an environment would have an effect on nursing students’ achievement and satisfaction (Mabuda, Potgieter, & Alberts, 2008).
Statement of the problem
Since the inception of the nursing programme at the institution used for the study, nursing students are assigned to hospitals for seven weeks clinical experience. When asked by their supervisors during and after their posting, these nursing students share their views of their clinical environment, their encounters with the patients and their relatives, and their successes and challenges. Despite the nursing students’ informal responses, as well as their performance at the end of the course, there has not been any formal quantitative research done on this topic.
A review of the literature shows that a few studies have been done in this area around the world. For instance, in Africa, Adjei, Sarpong, Attafuah, Amertil, and Akosah (2018) explored the perceptions of student nurses in a private university in Ghana. Similarly, Mabuda, Potgieter and Alberts (2008) investigated the experiences of student nurses during clinical practice at a nursing colleges
Studies have also been done in the Middle East by Sharif and Masoumi (2005) who explored nursing students’ experiences of clinical practice in Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in southern Iran; while Jamshidi, Molazem, Sharif, Torabizadeh, and Kalyani (2016) examined the challenges of nursing students in clinical learning Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Other studies were done by Tiwaken, Caranto, and David (2015) who examined the lived experiences of student nurses during clinical practice in Bonafide Benguet State University-College of Nursing in the Philippines in Asia. While in Europe, Mattila, Pitkajarvi, and Eriksson (2010) studied the clinical practice experiences of international student nurses in the Finnish health care system. In all these studies done in different parts of the world, the researchers used mostly the qualitative approach to explore nursing students’ experiences during and/or after clinical practice.
There is a significant incoherence between theory and clinical practice and one of the cause of this discrepancy could be attitude. A positive attitude towards clinical practice enhances effective clinical learning. Whereas, a negative attitude hampers the acquisition of essential clinical skills. Thus, identifying the gap in clinical practice is noteworthy for improving the quality of Nursing and Midwifery educations
Objective of the study
The objective of the study are;
- To ascertain the attitude of midwife towards clinical experience
- To ascertain the relationship between clinical experience and academic performance of midwife student
- To identify issues encountered by the nursing students during their clinical practice placement.
The following hypotheses were developed for the study:
. Hypothesis One
HO: there is no relationship between clinical experience and academic performance of midwife student.
HI: there is relationship between clinical experience and academic performance of midwife student
HO: there are no issues encountered by the nursing students during their clinical practice placement
HI: there are issues encountered by the nursing students during their clinical practice placement
Significance of the study
It is believed that the study will provide results on the clinical placements and experiences of the nursing students that will be beneficial to different stakeholders (nursing educators & students). First, the nursing educators at the institution used for the study may find the results useful since it will reveal the nursing students’ perceptions of their clinical practice experience, and possible ways of improving areas of weaknesses. Second, by fixing problem areas in the course, it might enhance the learning experience for the nursing students in the future.
Scope and limitation of the study
The scope of the study covers evaluating the influence of clinical experience on the academic performance of student midwives. . The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
Definition of terms
Clinical experience: Clinical experience means providing direct behavioral health services on a full-time basis or equivalent hours of part-time work to children and adolescents who have diagnoses of mental illness and includes supervised internships, supervised practicums, and supervised field experience for the purpose of Medicaid .
Midwife: A midwife is a health professional who cares for mothers and newborns around childbirth, a specialization known as midwifery. The education and training for a midwife is similar to that of a nurse, in contrast to obstetricians and perinatologists who are physicians
Academic performance: Academic performance or “academic achievement” is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals.