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How aseptic technique is taught to undergraduate student nurses: a qualitative study ?

Hawker, Clare ORCID:, Gould, Dinah ORCID: and Courtenay, Molly ORCID: 2023. How aseptic technique is taught to undergraduate student nurses: a qualitative study ? Nurse Education Today 122 , 105717. 10.1016/j.nedt.2023.105717

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Background Aseptic technique is essential to prevent healthcare-associated infection and reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance but little research has explored how it is taught in undergraduate nursing curricula. Objective Explore how undergraduate student nurses learn about aseptic technique in classroom and clinical settings and the contribution of key stakeholders in the educational process: nurse educators, mentors and infection prevention nurses. Design Qualitative interview study with observation of teaching. Setting Two contrasting sites, one reporting greater innovation in relation to the teaching and practice of aseptic technique than the other. Each site comprised a university nursing department and the organisations providing student placements. Participants Student nurses, university-based nurse educators, clinical mentors and infection prevention nurses. Methods Telephone interviews, fieldwork and unstructured observation of teaching in the universities. Findings Student nurses reported feeling poorly prepared to undertake aseptic technique. There were misunderstandings and confusion about its purpose and how it should be conducted among nurse educators and mentors. Suboptimal facilities, poor curriculum design and arrangements for competency assessment in both sites contributed to students' experiences. Reports of better innovation in one of the participating sites compared to standard practice in the other were not reflected in the data. Conclusions The findings of this study corroborate earlier research: student nurses do not feel well-prepared to undertake aseptic technique. Healthcare providers and universities need to investigate and address deficiencies in understanding among those responsible for teaching and performing this key nursing skill. University curricula should be revised to ensure that teaching takes place optimally in relation to clinical placements, improve arrangements for students' competency assessment, focus more on teaching the principles underpinning aseptic technique and promote transferability from the classroom to different types of clinical settings. Communication between university and clinical staff should be strengthened.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 10 January 2023
Last Modified: 09 May 2023 22:12

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