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Expectations and realities of student nurses’ experiences of negative behaviour and bullying in clinical placement and the influences of socialisation processes

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Health Services Management Research
Issue number4
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)270-278
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper explores nursing students' experiences and perceptions of negative behaviour and bullying in clinical placement measured against expectations at the start of their education. It explores their understanding and how they make sense of their circumstances and their experiences of negative behaviour, emphasizing socialization processes and factors which may prevent or reproduce negative behaviour and bullying. To this end, a focus group study was conducted, and this revealed that many students felt exploited, ignored or were made to feel unwelcome, although few reported personal experience of bullying. These frequent but less severe negative experiences appear to play a key role in institutionalizing an unwelcoming culture within which bullying could easily be triggered or take hold. Students' coping mechanisms may also contribute to reproducing such negative behaviour. The paper concludes that while the vulnerable position of student nurses might offer some protection against outright bullying, it is unable to shield them from unfriendly and negative behaviour, with implications for their learning and professional socialization. If student nurses respond to their experiences by suppressing their feelings and developing a hard front, such responses may themselves contribute to a reproduction of such behaviour with implications for personal wellbeing and retention rates.