Experiences of final year student nurses regarding patient safety training during clinical practice in Lesotho
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Background: Patient safety is a fundamental principle of health care. Unsafe services have become a global concern because they diminish health outcomes, harm patients, and damage the trust, reputation, and credibility of health care services. During student supervision in the clinical practice environment, the researcher observed incidences of negligence resulting from the incorrect processes of care from both student nurses and registered nurses. Regardless of the risk posed by these incidences, professional accountability was not demonstrated as documentation or reporting of such incidences was not completed by either registered nurses or student nurses. Aim: This research aims to explore the experiences of final year student nurses studying at the four Christian Health Association of Lesotho Nurses Training Institutions, with regards to patient safety training in clinical practice so that recommendations to clinical practice environments, Nurses Training Institutions and the Lesotho Nursing Council could be made in order to enhance patient safety during clinical practice of student nurses in Lesotho. Methods: Qualitative, phenomenological, exploratory and descriptive design was used. Final year student nurses from the Christian health Association of Lesotho Nurses Training Institutions were recruited following the purposive sampling methods. Permission was obtained from the Ministry of Health Lesotho Research and Ethics Committee, and North-West University Health Sciences Research and Ethics Committee. Participants gave informed, written consent and data was collected using reflective writing. Findings: The findings showed that student nurses agree that patient safety was touched during their training and acknowledged that the topic was regarded as an important outcome of nurses’ training. The research shows also that not all registered nurses, nurse educators, and clinical supervisors provided adequate supervision of student nurses to ensure safe practice during clinical practice. The reasons highlighted for lack of supervision included inadequate numbers of, registered nurses and nurse educators and lack of competency in patient safety practice that student nurses were supposed to observe. Finally, senior student nurses assumed roles as supervisors of junior student nurses to try and bridge a gap caused by lack of supervision unfortunately, supervision occurred without proper monitoring by registered nurses or nurse educators. Additionally, participants experience a theory-practice gap because what is taught in classroom is not practiced the same way by registered nurses in practice. Nurses seem to always want to find a shorter, and easier way of providing care resulting in substandard patient care practices. Registered nurses do not comply with policies and procedures, and it creates confusion among student nurses who are unable to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong due to the gap between their learnt knowledge and the poor role modelling of registered nurses. Inadequate supplies and resources reinforced the habit to improvise when rendering care to patients in ways that risked patient safety. An example is using one sterile pack for dressing more than one patients. Poor infrastructure of the clinical practice environment also increased the risk to patient safety. Conclusion: The above experiences cause student nurses to complete three years of training and yet feel that they are still not ready to provide safe patient care This research formulates recommendations to patient safety stakeholders to enhance training that is compliant with standards and policies so that student nurses exit the programme fully prepared for practice.
- Health Sciences 
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