Picture This: Evaluating Healthcare Education Using Student Generated Pictorial Data

Fletcher, Catherine, Gordon, Catherine and Jarvis, Kathryn orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5963-7346 (2023) Picture This: Evaluating Healthcare Education Using Student Generated Pictorial Data. Journal of Modern Nursing Practice and Research, 3 (3).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.53964/jmnpr.2023020


Objective: Healthcare student expectation and experience of professional training is likely to impact retention on their chosen programme. Understanding the experience of healthcare students is essential to support programme completion and ensure a future workforce with sufficient staff. The objectives of this study were to: (1) investigate the similarities and differences between undergraduate nursing and radiotherapy students’ expectations and experiences of the first year of their programme through pictorial data, and (2) develop a process of interpreting pictorial data for student evaluation.

Methods: With written consent, students participating in nursing (n=31) and radiotherapy (n=22) completed a pictorial data collection tool on commencement and completion of year one. Data were analyzed using an adapted thematic content analysis. Independent data analysis, use of an audit trail and a reflective approach ensured a rigorous process.

Results: Three themes were identified: professional identity, expectation of workload, and confidence. The students in both cohorts indicated an expectation that they would complete their studies, demonstrating a growing understanding of their profession over the first year of their studies, alongside a high workload. Nursing students indicated pride associated with being a nurse that was evident at the start and end of their first year of training. They experienced fatigue and lacked time to spend in activities other than studying and sleeping. Radiotherapy students indicated a better work-life balance.

Conclusion: Informed by the findings, recommendations for healthcare programmes are made. Pictorial data were found to be quick, accessible, and inexpensive to collect and analyse. Impact of the visual data was powerful, giving novel insights into student expectation and experience. Pictorial data may provide a valuable complement to traditional methods of evaluation in healthcare education.

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