|Title||Evaluation of a coaching workshop for the management of veterinary nursing students' OSCE-associated test anxiety|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Authors||Dunne K., Moffett J., Loughran ST, Duggan V., Campion C.P.|
|Journal||Irish Veterinary Journal|
|Type of Article||Educational research|
|Keywords||Objective structured clinical examination, Personality, Stress, Test anxiety, veterinary nurse|
High stress levels amongst undergraduates (particularly in relation to assessment) and efforts to improve mental wellbeing have been increasingly reported in the veterinary educational literature. However reports to date have primarily focused on the experiences of students of veterinary medicine, rather than veterinary nursing students.
The purpose of this mixed method sequential explanatory study was to establish the “Big-five” personality traits and quantify the level of test anxiety associated with objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) amongst a cohort of 23 final year veterinary nursing students at an Irish third level college. The 12 item Brief FRIEDBEN Test Anxiety Scale (B-FTAS) and the 20 item mini International Personality Item Pool (mini-IPIP) were used to identify test anxiety levels and personality traits in this cohort. Focus groups were then employed to examine the effectiveness of a coaching intervention in ameliorating this test anxiety.
The initial, quantitative, phase found these students to have higher levels of test anxiety than previously reported for undergraduates sitting written examinations. No association was found between test anxiety and neurotic personality traits in this student cohort. In the qualitative follow up phase the coaching intervention was reported to have been helpful in equipping the students to better manage test anxiety. The OSCE stressors identified in this study closely resembled those previously reported by nursing and midwifery students.
The shared experience of the coaching intervention and formative OSCE was reported to have been helpful in empowering the students to manage assessment-associated anxiety. Implications and recommendations for educators were identified.