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Clinical experience in mental health nursing: determining satisfaction and the influential factors
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Brenda Happell
Clinical exposure to the mental health environment has been identified as a major factor in promoting a more favourable attitude towards mental health nursing. However, little attention has been devoted to measuring specific aspects of the clinical placement experience. This paper presents the findings of a survey of 703 undergraduate nursing students designed to measure satisfaction and identify factors influencing satisfaction (length and type of placement, time spent with a preceptor). A questionnaire was administered to undergraduate nursing students in Victoria, Australia, at the conclusion of their clinical experience in mental health. The findings demonstrate a high level of satisfaction, particularly in feeling welcomed, well oriented and supported, and opportunities for patient care. Students' views were influenced by the duration and type of placement and time spent with a preceptor. These findings provide valuable information about characteristics of a positive clinical experience that should be considered in structuring clinical placements in the mental health field.