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Keywords

Clinical, education, nurse practitioner, telehealth

 

Authors

  1. Calloway, Susan J. PhD, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC, FAANP (Professor)
  2. Hilliard, Wanda DNP, MBA, PMHNP-BC (Associate Professor)
  3. Jimenez, Rosalinda EdD, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC (Associate Professor)

ABSTRACT

Background: Telemental health services grew during the COVID pandemic, resulting in psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner students obtaining clinical hours through this modality. Although patient outcome data demonstrate the efficacy of telemental health services, data on the efficacy of learning through telehealth clinical experiences are lacking.

 

Purpose: To explore perceptions of learning through telehealth clinical experiences by students, preceptors, and faculty and to identify perceived barriers and facilitators to facilitating telehealth clinical experiences.

 

Methodology: Mixed-methods exploratory study using web-based, researcher-designed, cross-sectional surveys eliciting perceptions of learning and perceived barriers and facilitators to telemental health clinical experiences sent to current and former PMHNP students and their preceptors of a state university in the southwest along with PMHNP faculty in the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. Students and preceptors were offered the option to participate in a semistructured interview.

 

Results: Twenty students (35.7%), 22 preceptors (24.7%), and 19 faculty (25.3%) participated in the surveys. Three preceptors and three students volunteered for interviews. Telemental health clinicals were perceived by students as equivalent to or superior to in-person learning. Preceptors rated the teaching/learning environment through telemental health as equivalent or better as compared with in-person clinicals with two exceptions. Faculty-rated greatest barrier to telemental health clinicals was telephone visits because of technology issues.

 

Conclusions: Telemental health clinicals can provide a high-quality learning experience for students.

 

Implications: Preceptors should be provided with resources for facilitating telemental health clinicals. Ongoing discussions regarding the number of clinical hours recommended through telehealth are needed.