Original Research - Special Collection: Centenary Edition

Experience of nurses regarding the clinical mentoring of student nurses in resource-limited settings

Dhunraj Foolchand, Jeanette E. Maritz
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 25 | a1434 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v25i0.1434 | © 2020 Dhunraj Foolchand, Jeanette E. Maritz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 February 2020 | Published: 06 August 2020

About the author(s)

Dhunraj Foolchand, Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Jeanette E. Maritz, Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: One of the major challenges associated with nursing education in this 21st century is the practice preparation of student nurses to serve in complex healthcare environments and to ensure their fitness to practise in these environments. Clinical mentoring has shown promise in providing clinical learning support for student nurses. Most approaches are, however, biased towards higher-income settings without giving due consideration to the resources, culture and structures of health systems in resource-limited settings. It is also unclear how qualified nurses who act as nurse teachers experience the clinical mentoring of student nurses in resource-limited settings.

Aim: This study aimed to explore and describe the experiences of qualified nurses regarding the clinical mentoring of nursing students in resource-limited settings.

Setting: The study took place in Mauritius, a developing country.

Methods: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive approach was used with a purposive sample of eight nurses. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews and thematically analysed.

Results: The findings indicated that mentoring per se was not practised, but rather general support, supervision or coaching. This resulted in the practice being less effective for its original purpose. Possible explanations included a lack of policy directives. Additionally, the mentoring practice was informal with unclear role expectations. Poor material and personal resources further compounded the challenges. An absence of buy-in and involvement of management along with a lack of monitoring clinical mentoring by the nursing school concludes the picture.

Conclusion: Effective clinical mentoring requires an understanding of the mentoring process from a broader perspective. Mentors should be equipped with core competencies. Successful mentoring outcomes are dependent on a conducive clinical learning environment and a clear mentoring approach.


Keywords

Clinical mentoring; Nursing student; Resource-limited; Developing; Support

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