The development of reflective learning in the context of health counselling and health promotion during nurse education
Aims and background. The purpose of this follow-up study was to describe the development of reflective learning of 16 student nurses in the context of health counselling and promotion during clinical training of a 3-year nursing education programme in two Finnish polytechnics. The first aim was to analyse the levels of reflectivity in the student nurses’ reflections on their videotaped counselling situations. The second aim was to explore the qualitative features of the reflective health counselling learning process in the context of health promotion. The theoretical background of the study was based on a transformative learning theory.
Methods. The data consisted of stimulated recall interviews with 16 student nurses conducted once a year between 1998 and 2000. The data were analysed using categorization and thematic analysis.
Findings. The findings of the study showed that half of the students in the research group reached the level of critical consciousness during their nursing education. The others remained at the level of consciousness. Two students who represented thoughtful action without reflection in the first study year were able to reach reflection and even critical reflection later during their education. The meaning schemas of counselling developed and were enriched when the students moved into the higher stages of reflection. There were features of an empowerment approach to health promotion only in the meaning schemas and perspectives of critical reflectors.
Conclusions. These results may indicate that the empowerment approach to health promotion within the modern health promoting role of nurses requires critical reflection. Therefore, effective methods and evaluation tools of reflective learning are needed to support learning from practice via critical reflection.