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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Nursing students’ perceptions of effective clinical teacher behaviours Chow, Lisa Kim


This study sought to identify nursing students’ perceptions of effective clinical teacher behaviours, and to determine whether novice and advanced beginner students perceive different teacher behaviours as effective. The theoretical framework for the study drew on the concepts of clinical teacher behaviours (Reilly & Oermann, 1992), students’ perceptions (Woodruff, 1967), and the competency levels of the students (Benner, 1984). The study took place in selected colleges and university colleges within British Columbia, collaborating to develop and implement a ‘caring curriculum’ (Bevis & Watson, 1989). The study sample included 83 students enrolled in their third term, who were considered novices, and 55 students enrolled in their sixth term, who were considered advanced beginners. Data were collected through the use of two instruments: the Priority Clinical Teacher Behaviour Questionnaire; and the Nursing Clinical Teacher Effectiveness Inventory. Results of the study indicated that all students emphasized the need for clinical teachers to be knowledgeable, demonstrate clinical skill and judgment, be approachable, provide support, and be open minded and non-judgmental. Novice and advanced beginner students shared many of the same perceptions regarding effective clinical teacher behaviours, although certain differences were evident. Novice students placed more emphasis than advanced beginner students did on teacher behaviours of being caring, giving positive feedback, and demonstrating clinical skill and judgment. Advanced beginner students, on the other hand, placed more emphasis on teacher behaviours of taking responsibility for their actions, and being honest, enthusiastic, and nonjudgmental. Analysis also revealed a subset of behaviours emphasized by advanced beginner students. Statistically significant (p < .05) differences were found between advanced beginner and novice ratings of certain categories of teacher behaviours, such as personal characteristics, interpersonal skills, and evaluation. Students’ perceptions were also found to vary somewhat across sites. While some of these findings supported research previously conducted in the area, other findings offered a new perspective on students’ perceptions of effective clinical teacher behaviours.

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