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Undergraduate nursing students' transformational learning during clinical training

Journal article
Authors C. Melin-Johansson
J. Osterlind
Ingela Henoch
K. Ek
I. Bergh
C. L. Hagelin
M. Browall
Published in International Journal of Palliative Nursing
Volume 24
Issue 4
Pages 184-192
ISSN 1357-6321
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 184-192
Language en
Keywords Palliative, End-of-life, Nursing education, Clinical training, Learning approach, dying patients, experience, education, death, reflections, attitudes, life, care, end, Nursing
Subject categories Palliative medicine


Background: Undergraduate nursing students encounter patients at the end of life during their clinical training. They need to confront dying and death under supportive circumstances in order to be prepared for similar situations in their future career. Aim: To explore undergraduate nursing students' descriptions of caring situations with patients at the end of life during supervised clinical training. Methods: A qualitative study using the critical incident technique was chosen. A total of 85 students wrote a short text about their experiences of caring for patients at the end of life during their clinical training. These critical incident reports were then analysed using deductive and inductive content analysis. Findings: The theme 'students' transformational learning towards becoming a professional nurse during clinical training' summarises how students relate to patients and relatives, interpret the transition from life to death, feel when caring for a dead body and learn end-of-life caring actions from their supervisors. Implications: As a preparation for their future profession, students undergoing clinical training need to confront death and dying while supported by trained supervisors and must learn how to communicate about end-of-life issues and cope with emotional stress and grief.

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