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Korean J Women Health Nurs > Volume 24(4); 2018 > Article
Korean Journal of Women Health Nursing 2018;24(4):379-391.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4069/kjwhn.2018.24.4.379    Published online December 20, 2018.
Nursing Students' Experience of Sexual Harassment During Clinical Practicum: A Phenomenological Approach
Mijong Kim, Taeim Kim, Donna Scott Tilley, Ann Kapusta, Denise Allen, Ho Soon Michelle Cho
1Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Hannam University, Daejeon, Korea. mijong@hnu.kr
2Professor, Department of Nursing, Daejeon University, Daejeon, Korea.
3Professor and Vice Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs, College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Texas, USA.
4Associate Grant Program Director, Texas Woman's University, Texas, USA.
5Project Coordinator, Texas Woman's University, Texas, USA.
6Professor, College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Texas, USA.
To describe nursing students' experience of sexual harassment during clinical practicum.
An interpretive phenomenological qualitative approach was used to understand contextual experiences of participants. Individual in-depth interviews were conducted to collect data from thirteen nursing students who experienced sexual harassment during clinical practice in general hospitals at D metropolitan city. All interviews were recorded and transcribed into Korean and English. Transcripts were analyzed using the data analysis method described by Diekelmann, Allen, and Tanner.
The following 12 themes emerged from the data: ‘unprepared to respond’, ‘lack of education’, ‘unsure about when behavior crosses the line’, ‘power differential for nursing students’, ‘balancing self-preservation with obligations to patients’, ‘shame’, ‘feeling responsible for not being able to prevent the harassment’, ‘impact on patient care’, ‘fear of what might have happened’, ‘fear of repercussions’, ‘long term impact’, and ‘peer support’.
Participants in this study described feeling an obligation to care for their patients. However, they seemed to be unable to balance this while feeling vulnerable to sexual harassment with strong negative feelings. Helping students recognize and effectively deal with sexual harassment is a critical element to assure quality learning for participants and maintain quality of care during clinical practice.
Key Words: Sexual harassment; Nursing; Students; Qualitative research

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