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Nurse Educ Pract. 2003 Jun;3(2):95-103. doi: 10.1016/S1471-5953(02)00085-9.

Engaging undergraduate nursing students in the care of elderly residents in Australian nursing homes.

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  • 1Lecturer, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology, Sydney, P.O. Box 222, Lindfield NSW 2030, Australia.


This paper presents an analysis of a qualitative descriptive study exploring the effect of a structured educational program for beginning undergraduate nursing students undertaking clinical placements in Australian nursing homes. The study focuses on the students' perceptions of their knowledge, skills and attitudes towards the elderly. The analysis shows how the program with its supportive structure was able to engage the students in caring for the elderly person. Data gathered through questionnaires and focus groups demonstrate that negative attitudes toward the elderly had been modified or changed and that a surprising number of students were showing an interest in what traditionally has been an unpopular area of clinical practice. The results support some previous studies demonstrating that with the right educational support and structures beginning nursing students can engage in positive learning experiences with the elderly.

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