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Nursing Students’ Attitudes toward Caring for Dying Persons - Development during Nurse Education.

Poster
Authors Ingela Henoch
Christina Melin-Johansson
Susann Strang
Maria Browall
Published in Palliative Medicine : A Multiprofessional Journal
ISSN 0269-2163
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1177/0269216316646056
Keywords nursing students, palliative care
Subject categories Nursing

Abstract

Background and aim: Most nurses will care for dying patients in their work and nursing education need to prepare students for this task. The attitudes toward dying and death, and communication with patients and families are important issues in palliative care education. The aim was to describe nursing students’ attitudes toward caring for dying patients during undergraduate education, factors influencing changes in attitudes, and how prepared students feel to perform end of life care. Design and methods: This is a longitudinal study exploring the development of nursing students’ attitudes to care for dying patients with the questionnaire Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying Scale (FATCOD) first, at the beginning of their education (T1), second, at the beginning of the second year (T2) and finally, at the end of the third year of education (T3). FATCOD is a 30 item questionnaire exploring attitudes to care for dying patients; items are rated on a five-point Likert scale. Total FATCOD score, all items summated ranging from 30 to 150, for T1, T2 and T3 was analyzed with ANOVA. Length of theoretical and presence of practical palliative care education were hypothesized to influence changes in attitudes. Students also evaluated support and preparation from education. At all three occasions, 117 nursing students from six universities in Sweden participated. Results and interpretation: The total FATCOD increased from 126 to 132 from T1 to T3. Theoretical palliative care education became significant predictor of changes in attitudes towards caring for dying patients in that five weeks education better predicted changes in attitudes than three weeks. Students with five weeks theoretical palliative care education also felt more prepared and supported by the education to take care of a dying patients. Students did not feel prepared to take care of a dead body or meet families. Although nursing students’ attitudes increased, they need more preparation in palliative care.

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