The Effects of Curricular Approaches to the Development of the Student's Clinical Reasoning Ability

Monday, 22 July 2013: 10:45 AM

Faniswa Honest Mfidi, MCur, BACur (Hons), BACur, BCurAdvanced Psych
Health Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

Learning Objective 1: - understand Problem based education as an alternate teaching learning approach

Learning Objective 2: - describe the influence of teaching and learning approaches on the development of clinical reasoning abilities in nursing students

Purpose: The adoption of Problem based learning (PBL) as an innovative teaching and learning approach in health science education, was viewed as an effort to move away from content-focused learning approach.  Pioneers of Problem based learning (PBL) envisioned it as an approach that promotes and develops critical thinking and problem solving skills.  A comparative study was undertaken to explore the effects of PBL and traditional approaches on the development of clinical reasoning abilities of nursing students following Baccalaureate Curationis programme in two different universities.

Methods: A comparative analysis using descriptive and cross sectional survey design, was undertaken. Using a quota sampling technique, a sample of 87 subjects was used from two different university nursing departments, each using these curricular approaches i.e PBL and traditional approaches. Structured individualized interviews of nursing students from the first, second and fourth year levels were conducted using the Triple Jump Exercise as an instrument of data collection.  SPSS Computer software package was used to analyse data for both descriptive and statistical summarizations.

Results: Though the descriptive analysis of the scores of clinical reasoning showed a slight difference between the two curricular approaches, this was not confirmed statistically as the two factor ANOVA and Turkey’s method showed no significant differences by approaches.  The only significant difference existed between the students’ levels of study with senior levels (4th years) outperforming their juniors.

Conclusion: The study findings therefore concluded that, students using problem based learning and traditional approach perform on a similar level in clinical reasoning.