Innovative Skype© study supports students on clinical placements

Two staff members from the Department of Nursing,have been successful in obtaining a small grant to investigate the use and effectiveness of Skype© in supporting first year mental health nursing students during clinical placements.

Two staff members in the Department of Nursing, Hywel Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing and Associate Professor Dr Tessa Watts, were recently successful in obtaining a small grant to conduct a pilot study investigating the use and effectiveness of Skype©  as means of sustaining connections and promoting support for first year mental health nursing students during clinical placements. 

skype logo

Working with Hywel and Tessa are second year mental health nursing student Lauren Piercy, and Elen Davies and Craig Thomas from the University’s Information and Support Systems team.

The project, which is ongoing, adopts a participatory action research approach. It offers an opportunity for academics and students to work collaboratively on issues of significance, develop and share good practices, highlight areas of concern and consider ways in which such concerns might be addressed.

The project presents nursing students with a unique opportunity to actively engage in the design, implementation and writing up of a research project, the organisation and evaluation of an event and the dissemination of research findings.

This in turn will contribute to their employability skills.

Tessa said:

“We hope to identify ways in which Skype© may be used by personal tutors to support students during clinical placement component of their modules; develop a toolkit and guidance for the use of Skype© to communicate with and support students during clinical placements; understand the facilitators of and barriers to using Skype© as a medium for support and communication during clinical placements and enthuse staff to consider integrating new technologies in course design, development and delivery.”