Contact Clinical Tutor's Experience of Working With Bachelor of Nursing Students in Clinical Practice
The aim of this qualitative study was to explore four contract clinical tutors’ perceptions of their role in facilitating Bachelor of Nursing students’ learning in the practice setting of the health sector in New Zealand. Participants were asked to share their personal experiences including the positive aspects and the difficulties and challenges they encountered when working with students. Contract clinical tutors, are employed because of their clinical experience and expertise to enable students to apply the knowledge learned in theory and the professional competencies learned in the laboratory into the reality of clinical practice. This requires that clinical tutors be familiar with the curriculum so their role as supervisor, teacher, facilitator, guide and mentor can assist the student in fulfilling their learning requirements when in clinical practice. They are not, however, involved in the development or the teaching of the theoretical component of the programme. The difficulties and challenges identified by the contract clinical tutors in this study, resulted in discussion concerning strategies that could be adopted by the faculty to support clinical tutors in their role of ensuring the students receive the best possible learning opportunities when assigned to the clinical areas. Focus group interviews were chosen as a means of collecting data from four registered nurses currently or previously employed as contract clinical tutors to work with students from an undergraduate degree programme at a small polytechnic. A two-hour focus group interview was held as a means of uncovering the shared thoughts and experiences of participants. A second focus group interview was conducted to qualify information and elaborate on some issues. From the data collected a number of recommendations were identified which if adopted by polytechnics will enhance quality teaching by contract clinical tutors.