01 SES 01 B, Professional Development
In the past, present and also in the future educational research in vocational education will aim at developing learning environments that qualify for the specific requirements of different work domains.
Elder care nursing is a dynamic field of work in which knowledge and work conditions change frequently and where complex situations have to be handled effectively (Berings, Poell & Van Veldhoven, 2010; Shin & Kim, 2013). Similar to hospital nurses, elder care nurses are supposed to ensure high standards of quality and professionalism. But in contrast to nursing in hospitals elder care nurses face different tensions inherent in characteristics of their work. For example a prevalent tension in the domain of elder care nursing lies in the implementation of medical and care-giving activities without limiting residents´ autonomy and decisions (Leicher, Mulder & Bauer, 2013). Development of knowledge and skills in vocational education and training for elder care nurses has to take these tensions of the domain into account. Learning with vignettes which describe realistic work tasks and learning to select action strategies by analyzing care specific aspects as well as psychological factors can make an important contribution to the education of elder care nurses.
The goals addressed in our study were (1) to find out how vignettes have to be designed using them in the context of vocational education and training, workplace learning and research on elder care nursing. (2) And in collaboration with experts in the domain of elder care nursing we wanted to develop and evaluate vignettes describing realistic work tasks of elder care nurses.
Vignettes are short, descriptive stories of an incident of practice presented to elicit rich but focused opinions and reactions to its content and to encourage producing thoughtful explanations and finding potential solutions (Finch, 1987; Jeffries & Maeder, 2004; Schoenberg & Ravdal, 2000). Learning with vignettes describing realistic work tasks and selection of possible strategies to accomplish the described work task can encourage elder care nurses to be able to function more effectively at work as well as find multiple ways to cope with tensions and to deal with different demands of their work field. Therefore vignettes have to be designed carefully and depict a situation which acts as a prompt to the respondent´s personal experience and their reflection on the described situation (Schoenberg & Ravdal, 2000).
Learning environments, like problem based learning that reflect the complexity of the context in which application of knowledge and skills takes place can facilitate learners self- directed learning and foster flexible thinking (Savery & Duffy, 1996).Therefore problems in problem based learning settings have to describe serious situations which force the need for solving the specified problem (Barrows, 1996).
Different reviews of the use of vignettes in research (Richman & Mercer, 2002; Hughes & Huby, 2002; Spalding & Phillips, 2007; Wilks, 2004) proposed aspects which should be considered regarding to the construction, content and style of the vignette. Vignettes are short stories (50-200 words) without dialogues, addressing readers’ ability and style (Jeffries & Meader, 2004). Regarding the content vignettes have to describe realistic, relevant and complex situations that require knowledge to cope with and allow finding multiple solutions which could be implemented in everyday work life (Hughes & Huby, 2002).
In this study we developed four work task vignettes describing the topics of assistance with eating a meal, assistance with getting dressed, interaction with dementia patients and providing advice on medical treatments. In order to make sure that they meet the specified requirements we collaborated with professionals of the work context and conducted interviews to generate possibilities to change vignettes when necessary.
Barrows, H. S. (1996), Problem-based learning in Medicine and Beyond: A brief Overview, New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 68, 3-12. Berings, M.G.M.C., Poell, R.F., & Van Veldhoven, M.J. (2010). Antecedents of nurses’ on-the-job learning. In M.J. van Woerkom & R.F. Poell (Eds.), Workplace learning: concepts, measurement and application (pp. 71–87). London: Routledge. Finch, J. (1987). The Vignette Technique in Survey Research. Sociology, 21 (1), 105-114. Hughes, R. & Huby, M. (2002). The application of vignettes in social and nursing research, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 37 (4), 382-386. Jeffries, C. & Maeder, D.W. (2004). Using vignettes to build and assess teacher understanding of instructional strategies. The Professional Educator, 1 & 2, 17-28. Leicher, V., Mulder, R.H. & Bauer, J. (2013). Learning from errors at work: A replication study in the domain of elder care nursing. Vocations and Learning, 6, 207-220. Richman, J. & Mercer, D. (2002). The vignette revisited: evil and the forensic nurse, Nurse Researcher, 9 (4), 70-82. Savery, J.R. & Duffy, T.M. (1996).Problem based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework. In B.G.Wilson (Ed.),Learning environments.Case studies in instructional design (p.135-148).New Jersey: Educational Technology Publications. Shin, I-S. & Kim, J-H.(2013). The effect of problem-based learning in nursing education: a meta-analysis. Advances in Health Science Education, 18, 1103-1120. Schoenberg, N. & Ravdal, H. (2000). Using vignettes in awareness and attitudinal research. Social Research Methodology, 3 (1), 63-74. Spalding, N.J. & Phillips, T. (2007). Exploring the Use of Vignettes: From Validity to Trustworthiness, Qualitative Health Research, 17 (7), 954-962. Wilks, T. (2004). The Use of Vignettes in Qualitative Research into Social Work Values, Qualitative Social Work, 3 (1), 78-87.
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