Nursing students’ learning to involve elderly patients in clinical decision making – The student perspective

Kirsten Nielsen, Jette Henriksen


The increasing number of elderly people in the population triggers a need for more nurses in the eldercare services. Therefore, a need exists to encourage nursing students’ interest in eldercare. International research found both positive and negative attitudes towards eldercare. The challenge is to facilitate students’ learning about and interest in geriatric care. This study aimed to investigate whether listening to older patients’ narratives may facilitate nursing students’ competencies related to and their interest in eldercare. A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach was employed to investigate whether an intervention in which nursing students conduct narrative interviews with older patients may promote their competencies to involve these patients in their own care while concurrently enhancing their interest in eldercare. New knowledge was generated through the interpretation of transcribed narrative interviews with the students conducted before and after the intervention. Four themes emerged: the significance of the narrative for the patient-nurse relation, for involving patients in clinical decision making, for person-centred care and for students’ interest in eldercare. The students valued the impact of the narrative interview. After the interview, they experienced a better patient-nurse relation and they found that it was easier to involve elderly patients in clinical decisions and to provide person-centred care. Students expressed a more positive interest in eldercare. This research addresses geriatric care, as it conveys experiences with the use of narratives to facilitate students' learning about eldercare.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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