NEW Student Voices: How can you achieve clinical excellence by sitting in a wheelchair?
Tina Heinz MS/MPA, RN
Keanni Cole RN
Maureen Eisenberg RN
Cam Hawkins RN
El Katz RN
Mary Kendall RN
Janet Mackin EdD, RN
Raluca Moldovan RN
Kendra Stewart RN
Winslow Wu RN

March 2011 
Volume 41  Number 3
Pages 17 - 18
  PDF Version Available!

PROJECT WHEELCHAIR, an experiential learning project conducted at Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing in New York, N.Y., involved a group of nursing students spending time in a wheelchair. With experiential learning, real-life interaction is the teacher. The project provided valuable learning experiences and insights for nurses into how disabilities impact patients.Every nurse wants to provide excellent care and have good interactions with patients, but sometimes it's hard to understand the patient's concerns. This can be particularly true with patients who have disabilities: Although nurses may have experience caring for these patients, they typically don't have personal experience with a disability. When nurses understand issues from patients' viewpoints, they can interact with them more effectively and provide better care.We conducted a pilot project during the 2008-2009 school year to explore ways to bridge this gap with experiential learning. The project involved more than 70 nursing students who each spent approximately 1 day in a wheelchair attempting to perform all of their normal activities. The participants also kept a daily diary and completed a short questionnaire about the experience.With experiential learning, the student gains knowledge by experiencing life events rather than by indirect means, such as by reading or observing others.1 The typical curriculum for an associate's degree in nursing includes much experiential learning, such as clinical and lab classes. But in these conventional experiential learning methods, which are focused on required nursing skills, information is presented from a nurse's viewpoint. Project Wheelchair was designed to provide experiential learning from a different viewpoint, that of the patient with a disability.After their day spent in a wheelchair, all students completed a questionnaire designed to determine the impact of this experience. To establish a baseline, the questionnaire included questions about each participant's

Purchase Now !

To purchase this item, follow the instructions below. If you’re not already logged in, be sure to enter your login information below to ensure that your item is saved to your File Drawer after you purchase it.

Not a member? Join now for Free!

1) If you're not already logged in, enter your information below to save this item in your File Drawer for future viewing.

User name:


Forgot your user name or password?
2)  If you have a coupon or promotional code, enter it
here.(If not, just click Continue.

Digital Coupon: (optional)

3)  Click Continue to go to the next screen, where
you'll enter your payment details.

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events