Skip to main content
Article
Perspectives on enhancing international practical training of students in health and social care study programs - A qualitative descriptive case study
Nurse Education Today (2016)
  • Simona Hvalič-Touzery, Spodnji Plavž
  • Hanna Hopia, JAMK University of Applied Sciences
  • Sanna Sihvonen, JAMK University of Applied Sciences
  • Sadhna Diwan, San Jose State University
  • Soma Sen, San Jose State University
  • Brigita Skela-Savič, Spodnji Plavž
Abstract
Background
Internationalization of practical training in health and social care study programs is an important aspect of higher education. However, field mentors' and classroom teachers' competence in guiding culturally diverse students varies widely in European countries, and the majority does not have enough training in guiding foreign students.
Objectives
This study aimed to examine which factors enhance the efficacy of international practical placement experiences in health and social care study programs.
Design
A qualitative descriptive case study design was used.
Settings
The study was conducted at six higher education institutions—two in Finland and one in Croatia, Estonia, the Netherlands and Slovenia.
Participants
A convenience sample of 14 mentors, 15 teachers and 14 students with international experiences from six higher education institutions which are part of the Bologna Process was recruited.
Methods
The data were collected from six focus groups using a semi-structured questionnaire based on a literature review. Each higher education institution conducted one group interview that was tape-recorded, transcribed and analysed for themes.
Results
Participants made several recommendations for enhancing the practical placement experience of students, teachers, and mentors. Most recommendations dealt with practical supervision of students. Three major themes noted were: ‘Attitudes towards internationalization of practical placements’, ‘Factors impacting the international placement experience’, and ‘Pedagogical methods used and structural support available for internationalization.’
Conclusions
The study highlights the need for strengthening the multicultural knowledge and skills of mentors and teachers. The findings provide practical guidelines for improving the international placement experience across health and social care fields.
Keywords
  • foreign students,
  • practical placements,
  • multiculturalism,
  • qualitative research,
  • internationalization of higher education
Publication Date
2016
DOI
10.1016/j.nedt.2016.09.013
Publisher Statement
SJSU Users: use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.
Citation Information
Simona Hvalič-Touzery, Hanna Hopia, Sanna Sihvonen, Sadhna Diwan, et al.. "Perspectives on enhancing international practical training of students in health and social care study programs - A qualitative descriptive case study" Nurse Education Today Vol. 48 (2016) p. 40 - 47 ISSN: 0260-6917
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/soma_sen/17/