Author(s): Baillie L, Curzio J
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Abstract Blood pressure (BP) measurement is an important clinical nursing skill. Informal evaluation triggered concerns about first year student nurses' opportunities to practise it. Therefore 447 first year pre-registration nursing students completed evaluative questionnaires following two 6-week clinical placements. The data were analysed using SPSS v.13 for analysis; open comments were analysed thematically. A third of the respondents (n=137) had pre-course experience in measuring BP. Ninety-five percent (n=425) attended the university skills laboratory session. Only 36\% (n=158) of students measured BP using both electronic and manual equipment in both placements and 6\% (n=27) did not practise this skill in either placement. Students undergoing non-hospital placements reported fewer practice opportunities. A large number of students reported never having been supervised while measuring BP; they were more likely to be supervised while measuring BP manually than electronically. Students' self-confidence in BP measurement increased over the first year but larger number of students were confident in electronic BP. To conclude, experiences of learning BP measurement varied in terms of opportunities to practise, equipment used, supervision levels and self-confidence. Students' experiences of learning other clinical skills may also differ, which has implications for healthcare education generally.
This article was published in Nurse Educ Pract
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies