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Student nurses in critical care: benefits and challenges of critical care as a learning environment for student nurses

Student nurses in critical care: benefits and challenges of critical care as a learning environment for student nurses

Nursing in Critical Care 19(6): 310-315

This article is a literature view of student nurses' experiences of critical care and the value of their experience to the nursing community. To explore the literature in relation to the value of critical care as a learning environment, the experiences and perceptions of student nurses in critical care and the impact of mentors on the experience. The shortage of critical care nurses and increasing numbers of acutely ill patients being cared for outside critical care areas has highlighted the importance of nurses being equipped with appropriate knowledge and skills to care for such patients. Student nurses have been experiencing critical care for many years and though it is accepted that it can be a stressful environment, there has been little empirical evidence of this. As anxiety has been said to interfere with learning, how much of an impact can this have and can anything be done about it? Using Medline, CINAHL and British Nursing Index (BNI) and search terms including nursing students or student nurses, critical or intensive care and perceptions, expectations or pre-conceptions, a literature search was carried out. Some articles explored registered nurses experiences, despite the titles, so this was set as an exclusion criteria. Critical care offers a wealth of learning opportunities which are only available in high acuity areas. Though students can be very anxious before commencing their placements, mentors and higher education play an important part in helping them overcome this. The challenge is how to work together to provide effective support systems for the benefit of the students.

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Accession: 055964125

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PMID: 24131570

DOI: 10.1111/nicc.12053

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