Introduction Chapter: Self-Confidence in Licensed Practice Nursing Students

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¶ … self-confidence in licensed practice nursing students. Nurses are important personnel in the hospital or any medical setting. Despite the training and teaching strategies used in their curriculum, many nurses complain of lack of confidence when it comes to applying their practical knowledge. This research will look into experience of licensed nursing students in order to find a positive correlation between simulation and development of critical thinking and confidence skills. The approach that we are using is the addition of simulated studies and simulated scenarios in some students. A sample of 75 licensed practice nursing students in their third year would be chosen. One group will be provided simulation studies whereas the other will not receive simulation. Analysis will be made through interviews and questionnaires presented to those participating in the study. Since this is a very vast topic, the results gathered from this experiment will set the stage for further exploration and discussion on this topic.

Introduction

The word heal comes from the Anglo-Saxon word haelan which means being or becoming whole and nurses are a crucial part of healing people and helping them fully recover. Role of the nurse looks at helping people and having them attain a proper state of mind, body and spirit (Fitzpatrick, 2003). Where doctors are the one who give medicines and perform surgeries, nurses heal through the relationship that they built with the patient. A nurse is not only a caretaker but a crucial person in the treatment process of any patient. It has been proved that the relationship a nurse has with his or her patient is quite relevant to attain a right balance of health and wholeness. (Fitzpatrick, 2003) Apart from the spiritual relationship, nurses have many responsibilities placed on them. It is up to the nurses to ensure proper delivery of medicines and further treatment. He or she has to be there for the patient and take care of the patient until the patient has recovered. There was an unfortunate time when nurses were only thought to be mere assistants with no knowledge or skill of their own. Nurses are required to be trained and skilled in a proper manner. They not only need to have knowledge but also need to practice it and apply it quite efficiently. In order for nurses to apply their knowledge in the best possible way, they need to develop their self-confidence and critical thinking skills.

Del Bueno (2005) has proposed that a major reason nursing programs are not successful today is due to the fact that a lot of content being taught to them is not being applied. Doctors may have to use their brains to reach a proper diagnosis and a surgeon can use his memory of anatomy to carry out perfect surgeries; however there isn't much memorization in being a good nurse. Surely, nurses do have a lot of knowledge about the disease pathology and the treatment. Nonetheless, the interaction and the relationship they develop with the patient cannot be learned from books alone. Nurses are definitely the primary care provider for a patient in the hospital. They are the first line of defense and they need to know how to handle their job in the best possible way. Simulated studies provide students with better confidence and give them a more hands on experience. The nursing students would be applying these skills more often when they aren't afraid that they are going to hurt or injure someone. Moreover, the environment doesn't remain threatening and the students can think easily and react efficiently as well.

There is, however, a different side to the story. Many times, simulation and unreal scenarios can pose a problem for the students. This sort of problem has not only been experienced by the nursing field but also by medical students as well. A lot of simulation can take the student away from the importance of curing someone. Kneebone (2009) stated that simulation takes away the reality from the students. With regards to use of simulation in teaching gynecology and obstetrics stated that it can have more of a counterproductive effect. He said that simulation takes away and misleads the students from real world care. In his perspective, simulation would only work if it presented the students with the challenges and the messy realities of clinical practice. (Kneebone, 2009)

This can be explained better by the example of a nurse in the emergency room. Regardless of how well timed the student is or how much they follow the protocol, on a subconscious level the student will know that this situation is not real. The student knows that the maximum damage is a bad grade rather than the loss of a life. The problem will arise when in a real emergency, the student has to snap out of the simulation practice and face reality. Therefore, teachers or even examiners can't really say that a person who does well in the simulated scenarios will do as well as in real scenario as well.

Problem Statement

Many nursing students today complain of having low self-confidence and low critical thinking skills. The problem here is that nursing students must have adequate self-confidence and critical thinking skills to be able to resolve the plethora of problems and multifaceted patient issues they will face in real life. This basic query is whether simulation will have any impact on the self-confidence and the critical thinking of licensed practical nursing students. Therefore, the investigator will look at whether more simulated patients, practical situations and scenarios help nurses become more aware and more confident. The investigation will see whether these nurses outperform the ones who have not learned in simulated environments. There have many been researches and studies carried out over the use of simulated patients and clinical scenarios in which medical students and nurses are taught. Even though there is an increased use of simulated patients, there still need to be more studies on whether this would help increase the self-confidence and critical thinking of the nursing students. (Soucy, 2011) Thus the major problem is that nursing students today do not have the skills or the confidence that they should have. The solution proposed is that simulated patients and scenarios need to be incorporated and thus instill these characteristics in these nurses. There has to be a link between better performance by the nurses and good confidence and critical thinking skills. Due to this correlation and relationship, it has become crucial for all nursing student to properly exhibit those qualities.

Significance of the problem

It is true that medical training at some point should make use of live patients to ensure the development of proper skills. This is crucial because all medical personnel have an obligation and a duty towards nurses to be able to provide the best possible management. Practicing with live and actual patients however puts the patients at a risk because these students are merely in training. This is a safety hazard and it can lead to injury or loss of life of the patient. This problem is significant because the nurses need to be able to practice with live patients and be able to supply the best possible management. Simulation-based learning is the solution that has been proposed to solve this problem. This sort of learning can develop the knowledge, skill and attitude that should be present in a nurse. Simulation-based learning can go on to promote the development of these skills and attitudes without putting any patient at risk. Many would think why is it so important to insert the need for simulation and simulated scenarios? Final year nursing students have stated that they lack confidence in fulfilling the responsibilities and expectations required in professional learning. Students, who are just a year or maybe even less than actually practicing, shouldn't be saying all of this. That is something that can hamper their career. Apart from that, they are indirectly attracting law suits and allegations that people have a difficult time dealing with. When a student becomes a practicing and registered nurse, he or she needs to have the proper knowledge to deal with any kind of situation.

Confidence is one thing that renders all learnt knowledge useless if it isn't there. (Lundberg, 2008) it is also seen that without confidence and eventually constant discouragement, these students will be pushed to the verge of performing bad. This shows that when nurses are taught the theory and the management of certain conditions, they need to practice this as well. These final year students feel that they are not confident and they also experience apprehension. (Carson, Kotze & van Rooyen, 2005) Critical thinking and confidence are two skills that are required not only to do well as a nurse and benefit community, but these skills required for a person to maintain their career. It has been proved by Cowin, Craven, Johnson & Marsh (2006) that the early experience can make a big different in the career of the nurses. This means that if they… [END OF PREVIEW]

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