COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

A comparison of nurse teachers' and student nurses' attitudes toward hospitalised older adults

Ella McLafferty
Nurse Education Today 2005, 25 (6): 472-9
15993516
Studies have demonstrated that gerontological content can have a positive effect on student nurses' attitudes toward older adults. However, few studies have attempted to investigate nurse teachers' attitudes toward older people. Yet authors acknowledge the importance of both clinical nurses and teachers in the socialisation process. The aim of this study is to compare the attitudes of student nurses with those of nurse teachers toward working with hospitalised older adults. A questionnaire was developed, piloted and refined until the final outcome was a 20 item questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed to nurse teachers (n=59); first year student nurses who had completed their first term of theory (n=82); student nurses who had completed a theory and a clinical placement (n=80). Statistical analysis of the data included ANOVA with a post hoc comparison. Results indicated that nurse teachers were most positive for a number of items on the questionnaire. However, they were least positive about their role in promoting an interest in older people and keeping up to date about advances in the field of older people. It is the responsibility of both teachers and clinical staff to dispel stereotypes that student nurses bring in to nursing.

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