Working with the disabled patient: exploring student nurses views for curriculum development using a swot analysis

Diane S. Willis, Mhairi Thurston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
Increased longevity will mean an increase in people presenting with cognitive and physical disabilities, such as sight loss or dementia. The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 states that health care should be patient-focussed, taking into account patient needs. This will necessitate nursing curricula to reflect the needs of people who have disabilities and equip the future workforce with knowledge and skills to provide appropriate care. This study explores student nurses' strengths and weakness when working with people with disabilities and identifies opportunities and threats to developing their knowledge and skills to meet the needs of this population.

Methods
As part of a study day, students from the year one Nursing programme were asked to take part in a SWOT analysis and post comments under the categories: strengths, weakness, opportunity and threats on a central wall about working with people with disabilities.

Results
Students acknowledged some of the challenges of being disabled especially in a health setting but also believed they were developing their skills to provide holistic care that ensured autonomy. Communication was viewed as both a strength and weakness and was identified as an essential skill to working effectively with people who had a disability. Students acknowledged that clinical staff were not always experts in working with people who were disabled and welcomed the opportunity to work with experts and clients as well as being directed to resources to increase their knowledge.

Conclusions
Integration of disability into the nursing curriculum is needed to ensure students have awareness of and the confidence to work effectively with people who have a range of cognitive and physical disabilities alongside other medical problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-387
Number of pages5
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume35
Issue number2
Early online date30 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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