Exploring the basic elements required for an effective educator–student relationship in nursing education
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An effective educator-student relationship is a key factor to ensure a positive learning climate where learning can take place. Educators must work together to build caring relationships with students, provide support to eliminate barriers and create a positive learning climate. This will establish an atmosphere characterised by mutual support, caring and understanding, all of which are fundamental to a sound educator-student relationship. Resilience research consistently points to the importance of positive and supportive relationships between the educator and student as a key protective factor in students’ progress. Strengthening students’ resilience from the beginning of their nursing career through a positive and supportive educator-student relationship can improve their well-being, as well as improve the quality of education and eventually the patient care delivered. The overall aim of this study was to explore and describe the basic elements required for an effective educator-student relationship in a private nursing education institution in the North-West Province. The study enabled the researcher to recommend guidelines to strengthen the resilience of nursing students within the educator-student relationship. An explorative, descriptive and contextual qualitative design was followed. This study made use of a non-probability sample and specifically a purposive sampling method. The sample consisted of forty enrolled nursing auxiliary students. The “World Café” method was used to collect data. Data were analysed by using Creswell’s steps in data analysis. Five main categories were identified: (1) teaching/learning environment, (2) educator-student interaction, (3) educator qualities, (4) staying resilient and (5) strategies to strengthen resilience. Conclusions were drawn by looking at the interrelation between the literature review, the theoretical framework chosen for this study, namely Kumpfers’ resilience framework, and the findings of the research. It is eminent that students need a caring and supportive learning environment including enough space, lighting and ventilation. Students reported that they need interaction that is constructive, interaction that acknowledges human rights and interaction that makes use of appropriate non-verbal communication. The educator must display qualities of love and care, respect, responsibility, morality, patience, openness to new ideas, motivation, willingness to “go the extra mile” and punctuality. Students reported various ways through which they manage to stay resilient namely: being positive, having a support system, improving study methods, self-motivation, setting personal goals, taking pride, perseverance and determination. Recommendations were formulated for nursing education, nursing practice and further research.
- Health Sciences