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Posted on September 28th, 2012, by

As a rule, the clinical practice is often accompanied by numerous challenges students need to overcome. In such a situation, it is very important to learn and analyze the experience of students who have already got the experience of clinical practice and are acquainted with the routine work of health care professionals in clinical environment. In order to get the full information on students’ experience, it is possible to conduct an interview with the help of which it is possible to reveal major problems students can face during clinical practice, their impressions and impact of the clinical practice on their professional formation. At any rate, these were the major issues which I supposed to talk about during the interview of a nursing student who has clinical practice. At the same time, I was conscious of the fact that the communication can play crucial role and define the effects of the interview on my perception of the students’ clinical practice.

In fact, I attempted to create comfortable conditions for the interview in order to make the student I interviewed to feel at ease. I attempted to create friendly, a bit informal environment since, before interviewing the student, I get acquainted with him and I have asked him for an interview after a few days since our acquaintance. In such a way, I was not a totally strange interviewer for the nursing student so he could feel relaxed and I expected to get objective information on him experience of clinical practice. What is meant here is the fact that a highly formal interview would likely to make him nervous and, therefore, his answers could be different from his actual feelings and impressions that would make his answers sincere and more formal.

On conducting the interview, I asked questions directly and received answer on the specific questions I asked. In fact, I prepared the list of questions and I had never derived from the list of questions during the interview. In the result of the interview, I have learned that the nursing student had been practicing at clinic for three months and his first experience was rather difficult because he was uncertain in his skills, knowledge and abilities. Hence, he felt unconfident in his ability to perform his nursing duties properly, but he considered the experience he had acquired during the practice was very important for his professional development. At the same time, on analyzing major difficulties he had faced during the practice he constantly felt the need in the support of an experienced health care professional and he could not perform her duties when he remained on his own with a patient, though such cases were quite rare since the personnel of the clinic proved to be supportive. At the moment, the nursing student has already got used to the clinical environmental and gradually overcomes his problems. As for his future plans and the experience he has already got, he explained that the clinical practice convinced him to continue his studies because he needs to enlarge his professional knowledge and develop his professional skills and abilities to perform his best at work. In addition, the example of other health care professionals motivated him to work harder and to learn more. In such a way, his overall assessment of the clinical practice was positive and he considered this experience extremely valuable in the context of his professional development.

On analyzing the interview, I arrived to the conclusion that the communication proved to be crucial and, to a significant extent, defined the entire interview and its outcomes. In this respect, it should be said that the process of communication is very complicated and in order to communicate effectively it is necessary to understand the essence of this process and its basic principles. First of all, it should be said that the process of communication inevitably involves a sender of information or message, a receiver of information or message, and the message proper. In order to convey the message, a sender gets an idea of the message, i.e. what a person actually wants to say to another person or people, than he or he words in the message, i.e. transforms his or her ideas into a verbal form, and conveys the message through saying it to another person, a receiver of the message. The receiver, in his or her turn, hears the message, interprets and evaluates it.

At first glance, the process is simple and, therefore, there should not be any problems with effective communication. However, in the process of the mediation of the information or messages serious problems may arise. In this respect, it should be said that the problem can appear just at the beginning stages of the process of communication. For instance, an individual can have an idea or message to send to a receiver of the information, but he or he cannot adequately or properly word in the message. As a result, what a person actually says and what he or she has intended to say can differ consistently. In such a situation, a receiver of the message cannot fully understand the original idea of the sender of the information. Moreover, while receiving the information, the receiver of the message interprets and evaluate the information he or she hears in his or her own way. In other words, the interpretation of the information made by the receiver of the message can differ from the intentions of the sender of the information. In such a way, in the result of such problems the process of communication becomes ineffective and incomprehensible.

To avoid these traps of verbal communication, it is necessary to avoid complicated phrases and textual structures, which could deteriorate the adequate perception of the message by the receiver of the information. Furthermore, it is important to make the receiver of the information conscious of the context and background of the message the sender wants to convey because the connotation of the message can vary consistently depending on the context or background information. Finally, the process of communication is a two-side process that means that it is not enough to convey the message from the sender to the receiver. In contrast, the process of communication implies the involvement of both the sender and the receiver and the latter should not only perceive the information from the sender but respond adequately on the information received. The adequate response of the receiver of the message can be viewed as a marker of the effectiveness of communication.

In such a context, I should say that I have a few errors during the interview, which I would like to avoid if I had a chance to take one more interview. To put it more precisely, in spite of my efforts to make the interview more informal, I failed to make our conversation really informal. In fact, it was a bit unnatural when I simply used the questions straight from my list I prepared beforehand. Now I understand that it would be more effective to use this list as a basis of the interview, which would set the direction of our conversation, while in the process of interview, I would like to introduce more questions which I could ask to precise or enlarge the information I had got during the interview. In addition, I did not really have a clinical experience myself, so I believe that I could miss some points during the interview when the nurse students talked about the clinical environment in details.

Thus, in conclusion, it should be said that interviews can be very helpful for the research and understanding of nursing students’ clinical practice and experience. However, interviews should be carefully prepared and, what is important, it is necessary to pay attention to the process of communication proper in order to meet the initial goals of the interview.

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