Short Research Report

WhatsApp as a support strategy for emergency nursing students during the COVID‑19 pandemic

Yvonne Botma, T Heyns, C Filmalter, Champion Nyoni

Abstract


Students in emergency nursing had already commenced their postbasic training at universities when the Higher Education Institutions were compelled to discontinue face-to-face contact with students and switched to various online modes of delivering content and facilitating learning in response to the government’s hard lockdown rules. Health services assumed students reverted to fulltime staff, while students envisaged completing the postbasic programme. In addition to the stressors all frontline workers encounter, these students had academic-related stressors.

This short report aims to describe the use of WhatsApp™ as a support strategy for emergency nursing students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lecturer initiated a WhatsApp™ group, including all students and the clinical facilitators from various healthcare facilities. The communication stream from 1 March to December 2020 was exported in a Portable Document Format, followed by thematic analysis to identify the support provided.

Support for emergency nursing students during the COVID-19 was multifaceted and included system, academic and emotional support.

WhatsApp™ as a strategy to provide support to students during the COVID-19 pandemic served its purpose but could add to additional workload for the lecturer at odd or inconvenient hours.


Authors' affiliations

Yvonne Botma, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

T Heyns, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

C Filmalter, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Champion Nyoni, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2021;13(3):176-178. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2021.v13i3.1517

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-10-07
Date published: 2021-10-07

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