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Keywords:

  • clinical education;
  • experience;
  • hermeneutics;
  • Iran;
  • nursing student;
  • phenomenology

Accessible summary

  • • 
    This study investigated the clinical experiences of nursing students in a psychiatric unit in an Iranian hospital.
  • • 
    Data from in-depth interviews were analysed in order to reveal common themes in the experiences of these students.
  • • 
    The results present distinctive insights on contextualizing, developing and implementing clinical education in Iran, especially in psychiatric units. The exploration and description of students' experiences will help nurse educators to plan the clinical learning opportunities such that they are less stressful, thus ensuring that nursing students are equipped to act as therapeutic professionals.

Abstract

This qualitative study aimed to investigate and explain clinical experiences of nursing students in a psychiatric unit in an Iranian hospital. The researcher performed a Heideggerian hermeneutic phenomenological study by conducting in-depth interviews of 13 participants. An analysis based on Diekelmann's method helped to interpret the data and uncover common themes. The following four correlated themes were obtained: anxiety, maturation, dissatisfaction and enthusiasm. These results present distinctive insights on contextualizing, developing and implementing clinical education in Iran, especially in psychiatric units. The exploration and description of students' experiences will help nurse educators to plan the clinical learning opportunities such that they are less stressful, thus ensuring that nursing students are equipped to act as therapeutic professionals.