Understanding medication adherence via lived experience: An experiential learning exercise for nursing students

John Brion


Patients often receive a prescription with little instruction, which they often do not follow. These “non-compliant” patientsare seen as being difficult or resistant. However, in reality these patients may truly be struggling to make a majorbehavioral change with little help or direction. Nurses’ play a major role in the education and support of patients receivingnew prescriptions, but too often nurses provide little more support and guidance than the medical provider. Unfortunately,some nurses also engage in the negative labeling of these patients. The purpose of the learning assignment described herewas to provide pre-licensure nursing students an experiential learning opportunity to increase understanding and empathyfor the difficulties often embedded in behavioral changes required when patients are asked to follow a new medicalregimen. The framework for the assignment was Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model, which posits that lived experienceallows for the transformation of theoretical or classroom knowledge into functional skills. The exercise made use ofplacebo medication and a 3 week course of treatment, during which time students kept written records of their adherenceand feelings. Literature review, classroom discussion and a scholarly paper were used to help students process theexperience. One focus of the post-experience processing was the application of newly gained knowledge in thedevelopment of nursing interventions to help with non-adherence.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v2n2p133

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.