Learning & Teaching Study to change

What moves people to study nursing or health care management? Review of a discussion group of students

[Translate to Englisch:] Mehrere Studierende im Skills Lab
[Translate to Englisch:] Studierende im Skills Lab der ASH Berlin, wo sie an Puppen oder mit Patientenschauspieler_innen üben können [Translate to Englisch:] ASH Berlin

On May 3rd, multi-layered professional experiences, high expertise, visions and a lot of motivation to actively shape the training for the nursing sector and the activities in the health care sector will meet at Fritz-Lang-Platz.

Around 40 students from the bachelor's degree programs in nursing (BAP) and health care and nursing management (MVG) will be discussing with each other under the direction of Katja Boguth and Gudrun Piechotta-Henze.

The students from the MVG program, who have already successfully completed three years of professional training in the health care sector, for example in health care and nursing, pediatric health care and nursing, geriatric care, physical or occupational therapy, as well as medical assistants and surgical technicians, report on their reasons for taking up a bachelor's degree program at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin. Even if these reasons are always individual and personal development is an important motivating variable, the focus is on bringing about changes in the health care system, improving the health care of people and de-hierarchizing the interaction between the occupational and professional groups, especially being able to meet the medical staff at eye level.

In other words, according to the unanimous statements, the course of study enables students to think scientifically, to obtain an academic degree, to build on professional training, and to move into a management position in order to then change the system from within as a manager.

The primary qualifying nursing students as well as the nurses in the nursing degree program who are continuing their education are also motivated to be able to be an active part of changes in the nursing and health care system within the framework of their studies or with their degree. They would like to be part of a - necessary - academization of nursing and help to advance it. In addition, the study program offers the necessary space for reflection on nursing processes. The lecturers would consciously encourage the questioning and reflection of processes, support in crisis situations, offer opportunities to try things out and show how one can involve oneself in action processes.

Across programs, participants in this panel would like to see improved communication and participation among the health professions. This requires respectful, interprofessional interaction at all levels, always with the common goal in mind of optimizing treatment processes for patients in an individualized, competence-oriented manner. It is also important to have a positive culture of error, i.e. to be allowed to admit mistakes and to regard them as learning processes. In general, it is important to always be open to change.

With the academic degree in nursing and management, the students would like to take on more responsibility, not only in the curative field, but also in the outpatient and inpatient care of the elderly and in palliative care.

A major wish is to improve the image of the nursing and health care professions. Urgently a remuneration of the studying in the care course is urged.

Finally, the question is asked once again, about the training in the university area for care. Why is an academization important? The answers do not tarry: The academization of  the care sector is important, since care students learn a more critical approach and can reflect thereby instructions, operational sequence and activities more independently. The Care Act also creates new areas of work, such as assessing the need for care. These must be carried out professionally now and in the future. It is also stated in the plenum that it is important to find international connections and to be able to work throughout Europe. Nevertheless, academization is also perceived as a lengthy process - with numerous hurdles that need to be overcome. These include the fact that nursing students have to complete around 2,300 hours of practical training as part of their studies, but - unlike vocational nursing school training - these are not remunerated. At the same time, the course is so demanding and time-consuming that there is hardly any chance of holding down a paid job while studying, which reduces the attractiveness of the course. Another problem is the search for qualified practical instructors with a university degree who can teach tasks to promote scientific skills during the practical study phases and recognize the same opportunities in the academization of the nursing profession as the students themselves.