Original Research

Nursing students’ perceptions of clinical learning opportunities and competence in administration of oral medication in the Western Cape

John J. Musafiri, Felicity Daniels
Curationis | Vol 43, No 1 | a2044 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v43i1.2044 | © 2020 John J. Musafiri, Felicity Daniels | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 January 2019 | Published: 19 February 2020

About the author(s)

John J. Musafiri, School of Nursing, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Felicity Daniels, School of Nursing, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Medication errors may result in patients’ harm and even death. The improvement of nursing students’ competence in the administration of medication through education and training can contribute to the reduction of medication errors.

Objectives: This study aimed at describing the Bachelor of Nursing students’ perceptions about clinical learning opportunities and competence in the administration of oral medication.

Method: A quantitative descriptive design was employed. An all-inclusive sample of 176 nursing students registered at a university in the Western Cape, South Africa, in 2014 was considered for the study, of whom 125 students consented to participate and completed the questionnaires. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 was used for data analysis and descriptive statistics were conducted.

Results: The findings showed that a minority of students did not have opportunities to rotate in all specific types of wards. The findings indicated that a total of 92% (115) and 86.4% (108) of the 125 respondents were placed in medical and surgical wards, respectively, where they more likely had opportunities to practise the administration of oral medication. However, 59.2% (74) did not practise administration of oral medication on a daily basis. Only 19.2% (24) of respondents perceived themselves as competent in the administration of oral medication.

Conclusion: The findings indicated that many students perceived their education and training as not providing sufficient learning opportunities to practise the administration of oral medication, whilst the majority of respondents perceived themselves as competent in some of the aspects related to the administration of oral medication, and very few perceived themselves as competent overall in the administration of oral medication.


Keywords

Bachelor of Nursing; clinical learning opportunities; competence; oral medication; mental health

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