Does restructuring theory and clinical courses better prepare nursing students to manage residents with challenging behaviors in long-term care settings? – 2018-01

Bachelor of Nursing students (BN) placed in long-term care encounter residents who exhibit challenging behaviors. Students are often inadequately prepared to manage these behaviors, and this is a source of distress for students. This study explored whether enhancing and restructuring theoretical and clinical courses resulted in student nurses feeling better prepared to manage residents’ challenging behaviors and improve their levels of distress. This study was conducted in two phases with 116 BN students (first phase) and 99 students (second phase) where the course on older adults was restructured. The findings of this study indicated that students who felt less prepared experienced greater distress by residents’ behaviors than those who felt better prepared. Scheduling a theoretical course on the care of older adults prior to the clinical course placement, as well as offering an online learning module focused on responsive behaviors, significantly increased students’ feelings of preparedness to manage residents’ complex behaviors.

Beverly O’Connell, Lorna Guse & Loreley Greenslade
Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 30 Jan 2018