Seeing is believing: The effect of prison-based insight-days on student nurses’ perceptions of undertaking practice placements within a prison healthcare environment
Prisoners' access to healthcare should mirror that of the general public, but is adversely affected by challenges in recruiting nurses to work in custodial settings, potentially impacting on prisoner well-being. To address this issue prison-based insight-days have been developed jointly by one university and prison to positively influence students’ views of undertaking placements in custodial settings because nurses are known to subsequently seek employment in areas where they have had positive student placements. A phenomenological investigation explored student nurses' lived experiences of prison-based insight-days. Questionnaires and interviews were used to gather qualitative data about students’ feelings both prior to and following the insight-day (n = 17). All data was thematically analysed resulting in four themes: pre-placement curiosity, escalating admission anxiety, calming down inside and post-placement decision making. The empirical findings showed that first-hand exposure to prisoners, and to the realities of a working prison, were crucial factors in dispelling stereotypes and addressing negative preconceptions of prison healthcare environments, as students could find prison placements unexpectedly appealing. Drawing on the findings, this paper recommends that facilitating prison insight-days within custodial settings may be one way to encourage students to undertake prison placements.
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Citation : Hunt, E.L., Booth, N., Hunt, LA. (2020) Seeing is believing: The effect of prison-based insight-days on student nurses’ perceptions of undertaking practice placements within a prison healthcare environment. Nurse Education in Practice,
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes