Effect of the Role Play Practice as Teaching Strategies on the Communication Competence of Student Nurses

Monday, 30 July 2012

Miao-Ju Chwo, PhD, RN
Department of Nursing, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to discuss how the student nurses' experience of role play practice can enhance their communication competence.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to apply the role play practice into nursing education.

Purpose: Clinical practice is a simulation process for student nurses, however, student nurses may feel frustration when they don‘t know how to communicate with patient and family. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effect of role play as teaching strategies on the communication competence of student nurses.

Methods: This research employed mixed qualitative and quantitative design for data collection. This research was approved by the institutional review board of the Fu Jen Catholic University and the Department of Nursing before it was conducted. The subjects were sixty-eight sophomore student nurses (experimental group = 28, control group = 40) who were willing to participate in this research. The Interpersonal Communication Competence Inventory developed by Meng-Shan Liu and Po-Hsi Chen (2005) was used to investigate the interpersonal communication competence of the student nurses. The experimental group participants received three-hour role play practice, whereas those in the control group participants did not receive any role play practice. 

Results: Mann-Whitney analysis found the experimental group participants have optimal presentation skill, listening skill and social interaction skill compared to the control group participants. In addition, there is a significant difference on listening skill between two groups (p <0.01). Four categories were identified that described the experience of role play practice: developing empathy, practicing other’s point of view, experiencing sharing and learning, and understanding the priority of the patient‘s right.

Conclusion: This research found the role play practice can enhance the student nurses’ listening skill and the teaching strategies can be applied to nursing education. Future research should focus on more participants to integrate these ideas into practicum training.