In a recent article by ABC News, it was reported that more than a third of nursing students are experiencing physical violence during clinical placements. About 60% of students also reported experiencing abuse from patients, patients’ relatives and other healthcare workers.
Students are increasingly expected to provide frontline care with little or no training on safety or the violent dangers it can present.
Australian Nursing Federation state secretary Mark Olson said, “Unfortunately, I have to say that the Treasury’s latest savings measures to remove senior staff from the frontline is not a step in the right direction and has the potential to make hospitals a more dangerous place to work. And we will continue to call on the government to add nursing to the list of professions protected by mandatory sentencing legislation until these statistics improve.”
So what does the research say?
Murdoch University PhD student Martin Hopkins conducted a survey of 150 students undertaking clinical placements in Perth hospitals.
Mr Hopkins said that while registered nurses were offered training in dealing with violence, it was now clear undergraduates also needed such training. He said, “We know it’s going to happen, there’s not a lot we can do about that, it’s very difficult to prevent aggressive situations but what we can do is forewarn and forearm our students.”
So what does this mean for the provision of Clinical Placements? How can universities and clinical educators build student resilience and take proactive measures to prepare and protect students? How is your institution or organisation planning to deal with this very real issue of student clinical placement safety?
This emerging issue will be addressed in a roundtable discussion at the Innovative Models for Clinical Placements Conference. Join your peers and leaders to discuss what can be done to ensure student safety?