Exploring the black box of practical skill learning in the clinical skills center
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBjørk, I. T., Christiansen, B., Havnes, A., & Hessevaagbakke, E. (2015). Exploring the black box of practical skill learning in the clinical skills center. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 5(11), 131. http://dx.doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v5n11p131
Background:Learning in skills centers has a long tradition in nursing education. Nurse educators struggle to substantiate theiropinions on the efficacy of simulation technologies over traditional methods of instruction and it is suggested that they shouldre-evaluate their methods when teaching psychomotor skills. A necessary step before evaluation is to unravel what the studentsare actually doing in the skills center. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore nursing students’ practical skills trainingin the skills centre to label and define generic learning actions used during the learning of two specific skills; wound care anddressing, and sterile gloving.Methods:A qualitative observational study of nursing students’ practical skill training in the skills center was developed.Students across three cohorts were video recorded while practicing wound cleaning and dressing, and donning and removingsterile gloves. Verbal interaction on the video recordings was transcribed. The core analytical process was the joint listening toand watching of videos with following discussions of interpretations and development of categories.Results:Seven categories of learning actions were developed: Parallel action and self-instruction, watch and copy, collaboratingto find solutions, giving support, seeking support, recontextualising the skill, and humorous enactment with the equipment. Thecategories are exemplified and discussed in light of learning theory and research on aspects of scaffolding.Conclusions:The learning actions described in this study are a starting point in detailing students learning actions during skillstraining. Students’ learning in other practical nursing skills should be studied to accumulate more knowledge about students’learning actions and how peer interaction supports or hampers learning. The relevance of the learning actions should be exploredin the clinical setting. A goal is to lay the groundwork for better design of learning in skills centers in nursing education.