"Positively influencing the attitudes of nursing students for the care of the elderly"

About: This is not really applicable.

(as other),

My story relates to the importance of nurse education in positively influencing the attitudes of nursing students toward the care of ill older people, in view of its perceived low status, and poor attitudes toward the field. As a lecturer in nursing, with a passion for promoting the care of older people, my pledge is borne out of the doctoral study I am doing.

All too often I hear students complain of having placements in older person care settings, or complaining about working alongside health care assistants. There is a widely held view that nursing older people is easy to do, and there is little to learn in such placements.

I will never forget the reaction of a colleague when I told her I had got my first promotion as a qualified nurse within the care of older people. She said 'Oh, that's shame - you'll lose all your skills - weren't there any other jobs to go for? ' Back then, my pledge was to ensure that content in relation to the care of older people was purposefully included within our pre-registration curriculum, with the effect of improving attitudes toward the field (links between positive attitudes and the quality of care are 'out there' (e. g. Park & Han, 2011).

My pledge remains; I continue to try to raise the profile of this important field. Nurse education curricula that have a heavy focus on technical, acute care delivery, at the expense of developing the complex skills required to care for older people, who often have co-morbidities and multi-morbidities, are know to leave students to feel unprepared to care for older people, which in turn leads to avoidance. It also sends a covert message to students that we, as educators, don't think it's important or worthy of status either. I pledge to change this for the benefit of older people being cared for by our future registered nurses.

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