2019 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 131-136
Background In Japan, some nursing and health science universities that train nurses and/or clinical laboratory technicians have a curriculum in which students observe medical students performing a cadaver dissection. Observing a cadaver dissection is believed to affect the formation of a student’s professional identity. This study aimed to investigate the effects of observing a cadaver dissection on the professional identity of nursing and clinical laboratory science students to find an effective educational support system for developing professional identity.
Methods Sophomores majoring in nursing science or clinical laboratory science were asked to complete a questionnaire with a professional identity scale before and after hands-on experience of a cadaver dissection performed by medical students. After their hands-on session was complete, they responded to a free-answer question about acquiring a professional identity.
Results The professional identity score of nursing students significantly decreased after the hands-on experience of the cadaver dissection. No significant change in professional identity score was observed in the clinical laboratory science students. However, the effect size (r) was moderate.
Conclusion Although professional identity formation fluctuates immediately after the experience of the hands-on experience of a cadaver dissection, the findings do suggest that these hands-on sessions will be effective for developing their professional identity if educational support is provided to help them utilize what they learned through reflection.