Students´ experiences of peer learning on the postpartum ward
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School of Business and Healthcare, Arcada university of applied sciences, Helsinki, Finland
Gynecology and Obstetrics, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Jessica E Silfver   

School of Business and Healthcare, Arcada university of applied sciences, Helsinki, Finland
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A68
The number of practical placements within the region has decreased due to centralization in maternity care and thereby closing of several maternity units. Simultaneously there is a shortage of midwives, who work as mentors of students. This encouraged us to try new concepts in order to increase the number of practical placements available for our students and enhance the student-centered learning. At about the same time Arcada launched a competence-based curriculum and a need to develop the learning in practical training to be more student-centered and to support self-directed learning emerged. All this with the aim of achieving the EU criteria for practical training1 Collaborative placement models, where the midwife supervises more than one student at the same time, are actively used. Supervision in groups and modules is used in several hospitals in our area with good experiences and without increasing the workload of the supervisor. With these student modules and experiences of studies in other European and Nordic countries as a starting point, supervision of students working in pairs was piloted with a small group of fourth-year public health nurse students on their postpartum placement in one specific ward in the autumn of 2020. In autumn 2021, another group of public health nurse student tested the same concept at the same ward and in the autumn of 2022 the concept was taken further and was piloted on several wards with a bigger group of midwifery students in practical training in postpartum care. At the same time the concept was piloted by public health nurse students in an outpatient clinic. Peer learning with student pairs means that one midwife supervises two students. The students work in pairs with selected patients making care plans, providing patient care and reflecting together on their actions. Alongside the students´ process, there is a supervisor in charge that supports and coaches the students in order to facilitate the learning process and make sure that protocols are followed in order to secure patient safety2. In our poster, we want to present a model for peer learning in pairs. With focus on how to support the student´s learning and follow-up on supervising. We want to support the process with a model created with the help of constructive alignment and Community of Inquiry, which are central parts of Arcada´s educational policy3. A structured process helps the supervisors in focusing on the benefits of peer-learning and avoiding some of the challenges that peer-learning can bring2.

Material and Methods:
Description of the hospital ward´s process around the development of peer learning in pairs. Content of student feedback from reflective learning diaries and focus group interviews with students that has had this type of supervision during their practical training.

Students felt that they were more confident at the beginning of the practical training when they were not alone and it was much easier to come to a new place and the routines and ways of the ward felt familiar faster. They learned how to give positive and constructive feedback and felt that they received more feedback than during other practical placements. This dialogue with a peer student in combination with constructive feedback resulted in students reaching their set learning outcomes better. Working in pairs increased the student's sense of security and they felt more confident in situations where they did patient tutoring. It also gave the students a possibility to observe the patients and register their reactions to the tutoring given by a peer student.

From a student point of view, this form of supervision is effective, provides a sense of security and deepens learning. From the educational point of view this form of supervision is more structured and the connection to the theoretical competence is more visible. And for the institutions providing the practical training placements this is a more effective way to supervise students and possibly a form of lowering the staff workload.

Official Journal of the European Union. Directive 2013/55/EU of the European parliament and of the Council. Published December 2013. Accessed March 31, 2023.
Ekman P, Karbin D, Sjölund T, Stockmann-Broo C. Studentstyrt lärandepraktik inom vårdutbildningen. Utforskning av pedagogisk praktik- en drivkraft för framtidens Arcada. Arcada Publikation; 2021.
Arcada University of Applied Sciences. Pedagogical policy. 2023. Available on request
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