Nursing Students? Perceptions of Self-Determination in Elderly People
Nursing Ethics 2008 May; 15(3): 346-359
The purpose of this study was to compare nursing students' perceptions of self-determination in elderly patients before and after clinical training in long term care institutions as a part of their course in gerontological nursing. A pre- post-test design was employed. The data were collected by questionnaires completed by students at one nurse education organization college in Finland (pre-test n +/- 120, response rate 95%; post-test n +/- 115, response rate 91%). The students' perceptions of elderly patients' self-determination were more positive after their clinical training period concerning to what extent elderly patients are able to control their treatment and what kind of support they received from nurses to exercise their self-determination. The students' perceptions remained stable concerning how important self-determination is to elderly patients, and how willing and knowledgeable they are about using their self-determination. Ethics teaching, together with high quality clinical training placements, should be assured early during nursing studies.
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