Interpreting the value of feedback: Older adult voices in nursing education
Nurse Education in Practice
School of Nursing and Midwifery
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd As patients, older adults are often involved informally with the teaching of nursing students in clinical environments. This involvement is recognised as valuable; however, the role of the patient is often passive. In recent years there has been recognition of the value that real people's lives, and health experiences can bring to student education, so much so that many programs now incorporate real patients into the formal education of students. In this educational initiative, older adults, from a Residential Aged Care Campus (RACC), participated as simulated patients in scenario based clinical learning activities, providing feedback to nursing students on the carative aspects of the learning activities. The aim of this study was to contribute toward the body of knowledge in engaging older adults in simulated clinical activities, specifically in the provision of feedback to nursing students. A qualitative interpretive methodology was applied to capture the older adults’ experiences of providing feedback as simulated patients. This included the collection of data through participant observation, recording of field notes, collection of a written feedback form and semi-structured interviews with the participants. Thematic analysis was undertaken to identify emergent themes in the data. Findings from this study have emphasised the value of including the patient voice in nursing education. The provision of feedback by older adults during direct care interactions supports and nurtures student awareness of the patient and the caring process of nursing. Unique to this study, was the finding that although the participants received no formal training in the delivery of feedback, all utilised a clear process recognised within the literature. A recommendation linked to this finding is that a feedback training program would be of benefit in reducing some of the feelings of uncertainty expressed by the older adults when giving feedback and better equipping them to deliver constructive feedback.