Incorporating Best Practice Strategies for Managing Students With Unsafe Behaviors: A Toolkit for Clinical Faculty

Monday, 30 October 2017

Kristy Chunta, PhD, RN, ACNS, BC
Deparment of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA, USA

Managing students in the clinical practice setting can be challenging for nursing faculty. This can become even more difficult when dealing with students with unsafe behaviors. The Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative has identified safety as a competency for pre-licensure nurses. Furthermore, curriculum guidelines have also emphasized the need for safety. The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice curriculum guidelines emphasize the need for graduates to create a safe care environment and provide evidence-based care that leads to safe and quality patient outcomes. In addition, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics for Nurses newest publication addresses the nurses’ role in promoting safety. Yet sometimes students struggle to demonstrate safe care in the clinical setting and faculty may be unsure how to effectively address these behaviors to help students become successful clinicians.

Unsafe clinical practice has been defined in the nursing literature as occurrences or patterns of behavior involving unacceptable risk or potential harm to the patient, student, or health care personnel. Previous nursing research has described consistent themes related to unsafe student practice including ineffective interpersonal interactions, knowledge and skill incompetence, and unprofessional image. Challenges with organizing care, repetitive behaviors, and communication problems have also been identified as common occurrences. This research can be used to assist the nurse educator in understanding how to identify unsafe behaviors and determine strategies for managing these students in the clinical practice setting.

This presentation will describe the state of the science related to students and unsafe practice. Best practice implications for addressing unsafe behaviors will be shared with specific examples for educators to implement in their clinical teaching roles. Case study examples will be included and potential remediation plans will be reviewed. Situations that warrant immediate faculty action will be covered. The presentation will also address gaps in the literature and opportunities for future research.