Francis Kyerepagr Kobekyaa
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Background: The hindrances to collaborative clinical facilitation for effective practical learning of nursing students are worrying. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the perceived barriers to collaborative clinical facilitation among nurse educators, preceptors, clinical nurses/midwives and nursing and midwifery students at two selected nursing and midwifery colleges and a hospital in Northern Ghana.
Methods: This study adopted a constructivist paradigm using a qualitative exploratory-descriptive approach. Purposive and systematic sampling methods were used to select participants for the study. Data were gathered through focus groups discussions and individual in-depth interviews and transcribed verbatim. The data were analyzed using Framework Analysis Method.
Findings: The study findings showed a sharp increase in student population at the colleges causing overcrowding and congestion at the clinical learning environments. Preceptors and other clinical staff who are trained and mandated to facilitate clinical teaching were insufficient, and therefore not available at all health care facilities or wards every time for students’ guidance and support. Participants further reported role confusion among staff due to lack of working agreements between staff of colleges and health facilities over who had the prime responsibility for clinical teaching of nursing students. This resulted in an adversarial relationship among key players of the collaborative network. Lack of time, heavy workload and busy ward schedules equally impacted negatively on the practice of collaborative clinical facilitation.
Conclusions: Based on these findings, nursing and midwifery colleges, in collaboration with healthcare facilities, need to create clinical placement calendars to coordinate students’ clinical schedules in the wards in order to avert the challenge of overcrowding. This would provide students the opportunity to be effectively supervised and guided during clinical practice in the ward. Ethical Clearance Reference Number: HSS/1553/016M.