Exploring the lived experiences of psychiatric nursing students through self-reflective journals
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This study explores the use of journals to identify important issues facing nursing students when learning in a psychiatric setting. During a 13-week psychiatric clinical experience, 18 third-year students kept journals describing the most significant event that occurred each week, reflecting on the impact and accompanying attitudes of that event. Throughout the clinical experience, the nursing faculty read the students' journals and provided written feedback on a bi-weekly basis. Major themes that students wrote about in their journals were identified. These included: meaningful learning, issues of the novice, relationships, control, self-reflection, and identification with clients. Keeping a journal provided the students with an opportunity to become more self-reflective in their practice. The issues identified by students in their journals may assist nurse educators to anticipate the learning needs of their students in psychiatry.
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