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Exploring sensitive boundaries in nursing education: attitudes of undergraduate student nurses providing intimate care to patients

Exploring sensitive boundaries in nursing education: attitudes of undergraduate student nurses providing intimate care to patients

Nurse Education in Practice 13(4): 317-322

Nursing students often feel challenged and intimidated to provide intimate care to patients in the health care setting. Student nurses in particular are faced with social, professional, academic and peer expectations and experience high levels of stress when providing this intimate care. Explore student nurses attitudes to providing intimate care. Year two and year three students of a three year undergraduate nursing programme completed a descriptive Nursing Students Intimate Care (NSIC) survey with open ended questions. This study discusses student responses to the question: Did you feel it was appropriate for a nurse to provide intimate care to a patient of the opposite sex? Three major themes were identified: societal and self-determined role expectations, comfort and discomfort providing intimate care, and age and gender of the carer and recipient. Student nurses face numerous challenges when having to provide intimate care to patients. These challenges are influenced by the age, gender, levels of comfort of the nurse and the patient and is related to the nature of intimate care being provided. Student nurses will benefit from pre-clinical simulated training experiences in providing intimate care. This training needs to specifically consider being sensitive to the needs of the patient, maintaining patient dignity, negotiating, accommodating and implementing plan of care while being competent and professional in their approach to providing intimate care.

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Accession: 036885845

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PMID: 23665212

DOI: 10.1016/j.nepr.2013.04.007

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