Journal of Qualitative Research in Health Sciences

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Surgical Technology, Community Nursing Midwifery Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Community-Oriented Nursing and Midwifery Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

3 Internal Surgical Nursing, Department of Anesthesia, Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran



Background: Clinical education is a critical stage of education and plays a major role in shaping students’ professional competencies. The clinical learning environment has a complex nature and has a significant impact on students, especially newly admitted ones. Thus, the initial experience in clinical settings will significantly affect the student’s performance. To this end, this study sought to explore the experiences of surgical technology students of their first appearance in the operating room.
Methods: This qualitative study was conducted using a descriptive phenomenological approach. The participants were 15 second- and third-semester students of surgical technology who entered the study through purposive sampling. The data were collected through individual interviews. Data analysis was performed simultaneously with data collection through Colaizzi’s seven-step content analysis method.
Results: A total of 101 primary codes were extracted from the collected data. The extracted codes were grouped into 7 subcategories. After removing duplicate codes, 3 main themes were revealed from the participants’ experiences (conflicting perceptions in the learning environment, preparedness before attending the operating room, and feelings and emotions).
Conclusion: The students’ experiences of their first appearance in the operating room indicated that their expectations changed compared to what they imagined. The stressful nature of surgical technology and the students’ experiences when starting the internship highlight the need for some necessary measures to prepare students before entering the hospital and to improve the quality of clinical education for these students.


Samaneh Dehghan Abnavi (Google Scholar) (PubMed)

Fatemeh Aliakbari (Google Scholar) (PubMed)

Leila Ebrahimi Shaikhshabani (Google Scholar) (PubMed)



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