The Experience of Making a Mistake in Clinical Practice from a Nursing Student Perspective

  • Author / Creator
    Pijl Zieber, Mark
  • Background: Making a mistake in clinical practice is a difficult experience for seasoned practitioners as well as nursing students. Although there has been some research in examining the phenomenon of errors/mistakes in experienced practitioners there is nothing that examines nursing students. This issue is important from both a patient safety perspective as well as an educational perspective. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine how undergraduate nursing students experience the process of making a mistake in their clinical practice. Design: A Glaserian grounded theory approach was the initial method utilized although a constructivist approach evolved as the analysis progressed. The following research questions guided this study: 1. What is the experience of making a mistake in clinical practice from a nursing student perspective? 2. What factors and conditions contribute to student error? 3. What recommendations do nursing students have for faculty/staff when dealing with student error in clinical practice? Sample: A purposive sampling technique was used. The sample consisted of second, third, and fourth year nursing students in two institutions. Inclusion criteria were that participants would have made at least one mistake in their clinical practice. The sample consisted of sixteen participants: seven from a large Canadian university and nine from a small Canadian university. Data Collection and Analysis: The process of sampling and concurrent data collection transpired as advocated by the principle of constant comparison. Analysis was accomplished by the dynamic process of open, selective and theoretical coding. Findings: ‘Living the mistake experience’ was the core variable identified in the theoretical model of making a mistake. The theoretical model captures the process that participants experienced during and after they made a mistake.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Sandra Davidson - Faculty of Nursing
    • Dr. Liz Taylor - Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
    • Dr. David Gregory - University of Regina - External examiner
    • Dr. Carolyn Ross - Faculty of Nursing
    • Dr. Judith Spires - Faculty of Nursing