A model of emotional support for student nurses working in mental health settings in the Western Cape, South Africa : a methodological perspective
Martin, Penelope D.
Daniels, Felicity M.
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The mental health care environment is a stressful environment, especially among student nurses. The purpose of the study was to develop a model of emotional support for student nurses working in the mental health care environment. The objectives were set in two phases: Phase one - identification of concepts; Phase two - development of a model of emotional support for student nurses. A theory-generating design, based on a qualitative, explorative and descriptive research approach, was used to meet the aim of the study. Data was purposively collected from 40 nursing students using (n=6) focus group discussions and eight educators and nine clinical staff by way of semi-structured interviews. Data was analysed by means of Tesch's method of data analysis. The model was developed by means of the four steps of which the first two are discussed in this paper as step three and four will be discussed elsewhere. Step one is the concept development consisting of concept identification and concept definition. A total of 22 concepts were identified, which were synthesised into six main concepts, namely, positive self-concept, positive work environment, academic and professional development, effective communication, formal and informal supportive interventions, and collaboration between the higher education institution and the mental health care setting. Step two is the model development during which the main concepts were placed in relation to one another, which formed an emotional support model for students working in mental health care settings. This paper gives an account of the methodological processes that were utilised to meet the aim and objectives of the study.