The meaning of experience came through in five themes that were threads throughout the responses from the students (Idczak, 2007). The first was fear of interacting with patients in which nursing students talked about how they felt about their first interactions with patients. Those feelings included fear, anxiety, nervousness, and lack of confidence. They did not have the confidence in how they might respond to feel comfortable. They found that they were afraid to ask RN’s on the floor and so they were dealing with these feelings alone.
Developing confidence was a second issue in which nursing students felt insecure, however, most of them felt that if they performed skills well that their level of confidence improved rapidly and that this confidence then helped with their interactions with patients. Becoming aware of oneself was felt to be something that was needed in order to interact well with patients. These nursing students felt that they developed self awareness through : “reflecting on their thought, reflecting on an interaction with a patient, comparing their thoughts to the actions of another nurse, and seeing inner role conflict” (Idczak, 2007 pg. 69).
Nursing students must connect their new found knowledge of the science of nursing with their need for the art of nursing and their ability to interact with patients. This is the ability to connect the skills learned in the classroom and caring for the patients with the skills of determining need and empathizing. Finally, all of these things must come together in making a connection with the patient.
Idczak (2007) felt that the results of this study were an indication for assuring that nursing students learn not only the science but the art of nursing. They must have experience with patient/nurse interaction just like they gain experience in putting down an NG tube. She also felt that nursing instructors very much need to look at