Exploring the learning experiences of nursing students with dyslexia
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Exploring the learning experiences of nursing students with dyslexia

Jenny Child Senior lecturer in adult nursing, University of the West of England, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Bristol
Elizabeth Langford Senior lecturer and study skills adviser, University of the West of England, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Bristol

Aim To examine the learning experiences of nursing students with dyslexia during clinical placements to establish ways of improving support in practice.

Method A phenomenological lifeworld approach was adopted using semi-structured interviews. Students reflected on their experiences during clinical placements, allowing the researcher to gain an in-depth knowledge of the students’ lived experience of dyslexia. Twelve student nurses, six with dyslexia and six without, were interviewed using a standard set of questions, and the data were collated and analysed. Using a comparison group of students without dyslexia was felt to be important to contextualise and compare the students’ experiences.

Findings Three main themes emerged: the value of work-based learning days, the importance of the clinical placement mentor role and the need for advocacy. Both groups of nursing students contributed to recommendations relating to support in practice and those with dyslexia also shared their individual coping strategies.

Conclusion Nursing students with dyslexia may benefit from sharing placement experiences with colleagues outside the clinical environment. They may also benefit from receiving support from their placement mentor and a representative from the university who knows about dyslexia.

Nursing Standard. 25, 40,39-46. doi: 10.7748/ns2011.06.25.40.39.c8565

Correspondence

jenny.child@uwe.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review