Exploring students perceptions regarding their roles and responsibilities in the clinical setting at a selected Nursing Education Institute (NEI) in KwaZulu-Natal.
INTRODUCTION: Discontent can exist between students and qualified staff, due to the nature of the work student nurses requested to do. The Minnesota Nurses Association (2011) in United States reports that nursing students and registered nurses frequently ask questions to determine what the differences are between the students’ roles as a student versus an employee, including questioning what the rights are of the registered nurse when delegating work to student nurses. Role clarity is a crucial issue foreffective inter-professional collaboration. Poorly defined roles can be a source of conflict in clinical teams and reduce the effectiveness of care (Brault, 2014). AIM: The study aimed at exploring the students’ perception regarding their roles and responsibilities in the clinical setting at one of the Higher Nursing Education Institutions in KwaZulu-Natal. METHODOLOGY: A quantitative, non-experimental, explorative design in this study was used. The researcher administered a questionnaire to undergraduate students’ on the four primary domains of nursing students’ perceptions regarding their roles and responsibilities in the clinical setting. Selected by convenience, non-probability sample technique. Data collected included the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants. SPSS Ver. 24 was utilised to analyse data within the four domains. The Chi-squared test performed, test for association between the background characteristics of the undergraduate students and the perception of their roles and responsibilities in the clinical setting. RESULTS: The findings indicate that participants of this study had a moderate mean score of 83.3 and standard deviation ± 8.00 for their roles and responsibilities. The majority of respondents 84%had a median score of 83 and ± 8.00 standard deviation (moderate score) and more. Only a minority of 15.5% had a low score of 75 and below with standard deviation of ±8.00. CONCLUSION: A quarter of the participants’ have a perception of being merely observers, while just over a quarter of respondents were not used as extra pair of hands. More so, the respondents’ ability to prioritise their learning were less than half. The support in the clinical setting perceived by participants was low with the result being just more than a quarter of the participants.