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J Prof Nurs. 2003 Sep-Oct;19(5):305-12.

The impact of a palliative care educational component on attitudes toward care of the dying in undergraduate nursing students.

Author information

1
Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723, USA. jmallory@wcu.edu

Abstract

Nurse educators have identified that historically nurses have not been prepared to care for dying patients. Research also has identified that nursing students have anxieties about death, dying, and caring for dying patients. Several factors have been identified as affecting nurses' and nursing students' attitudes toward care of the dying. Factors addressed in this research were current and previous death education. This research incorporated experiential learning using a model of death education and transformative learning theory. The educational experiences were geared to help students understand the skills needed to care competently and compassionately for the dying. The use of the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) education package along with experiences at the hospice, the funeral home, the anatomy laboratory, and role play helped facilitate transformative learning in the nursing students. The study examined the effects of an educational experience to determine if a one-time educational experience provides sufficient, lasting effects in a 6-week format. Results of this study indicate that education can have a positive effect on nursing students' attitudes toward care of the dying. Nursing students in the intervention group had a significant positive increase in their attitudes toward care of the dying after the intervention. The attitude change increased slightly after a 4-week period.

PMID:
14613070
DOI:
10.1016/s8755-7223(03)00094-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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