Communication quality improvement in student nursing clinicals

Suzanne Marnocha, Mark Marnocha, Michael Mason


Background: Little previous research has examined attempts to improve the quality of communication among nursing clinical students, unit-based educators, and academic educators. The current study utilized focus groups and needs assessments to identify communication concerns of both academic and unit-based clinical educators in several inpatient settings.

Methods: Quality improvement interventions were developed based on concerns and needs identified by staff. The interventions included zone phones, concise student placement summaries, and unit communication boards. Comparisons of pre- and post- intervention surveys of unit staff and of academic faculty were conducted by t-tests.

Results: Statistical analyses indicated areas of significant communication improvements between academic faculty and both students and unit staff. Interventions did not show significant benefits for communication between unit staff and students.

Conclusions: Application of quality improvement techniques resulted in successful improvement of communications among nursing students, clinical site educators, and academic educators. The results underscore the need to further tailor and evaluate quality improvement efforts at the level of day-to-day patient care, and to address the inevitable diversity among hospital units via timely staff input on the most effective unit-level interventions.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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