Beginning Level Nursing Students’ Experiences with Cancer Patients in their First Clinical Placement: a Qualitative Appraisal in Turkey


Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate beginning nursing students’ point of view related to caring cancer patients in their first clinical placement.
Methods: Data were collected by evaluating the diaries kept by four beginning level nursing students who were assigned to do their fundamentals of nursing clinical practice in hematology clinic from February to May 2011. A qualitative research method was used and data were analyzed using inductive method. Findings: Nursing students experienced anxiety, had difficulties while communicating with cancer patients and observed some negative practices related to patient care and treatment.
Conclusions: During their clinical placement nursing students were able to differentiate right and wrong practices in clinical environment, they tried to tailor their theoretical knowledge to the clinical practice and reported decrease in their anxiety by the end of clinical rotation. Being assigned to care for cancer patients was a stressful experience for the first year students. According to these results, it can be said that clinics such as hematology can be used as a clinical placement only in mandatory conditions for beginning level nursing students because of their limited clinical experience and the knowledge requirement related to these patients.