Improving clinical communication of students with English as a second language (ESL) using online technology: A small scale evaluation study

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Journal Article
Nurse Education in Practice, 2013, 13 (5), pp. 400 - 406
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Increasingly, students with English as a second language (ESL) are enrolled in nursing degrees in English speaking countries (Wang etal., 2008). However, they may be at risk of clinical practice failure due to communication difficulties associated with unfamiliar linguistic and cultural factors (Guhde, 2003). This paper describes and evaluates an innovation to assist ESL nursing students at an Australian university develop their clinical communication skills and practice readiness by providing online learning resources, using podcast and vodcast technology, that blend with classroom activities and facilitate flexible and independent learning. The innovation builds on an intensive clinical language workshop program called 'Clinically Speaking' which has evolved through a cyclical process of ongoing research to produce resources in response to students' learning needs. Whilst uptake of the resources was modest, students of ESL as well as English speaking backgrounds (ESB) found the resources improved their clinical preparation and confidence by increasing their understanding of expectations, clinical language and communication skills. The innovation, developed with a modest budget, shows potential in developing ESL and ESB students' readiness for clinical communication, enabling them to engage in clinical practice to develop competency standards required of nursing graduates and registration authorities. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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