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57 An exploration of factors that prepare student nurses to care for dying patients
  1. Helen Merlane
  1. Northumbria University, Newcastle


Background With an aging population, and an increasing incidence of long-term conditions, of which some cancers fit into this category as well as dementia, there will be a growing emphasis on end-of-life care provision (National Palliative & End of Life care partnership, 2015). Most patients receiving palliative care takes place within patients own homes, care homes and acute hospital wards (Department of Health, 2008; Virdun et al, 2015). Regardless of the environment, student nurses are on the front line of delivering this care.

Aim To explore factors which prepare student to care for dying patients.

Research Objectives • Identify how current Care of the Dying education prepares student nurses to care for dying patients

• Explore what socio-cultural factors prepare student nurses to care for dying patients

• Gain an understanding of individual experiences of exposure to death and dying prior to commencing their nurse training

• Explore their individual experiences of caring for dying patients within clinical practice

• Develop an emerging theory to understand student nurses’ perceptions and the impact that this has on the care delivered to dying patients

Methods (Design, Data collection and Analysis)

A constructivist grounded theory approach was utilised, influenced by the theoretical perspectives of symbolic interactionism and social constructionism. Students enrolled on an undergraduate degree programme were approached to participate in the study. Using theoretical sampling, data was collected from 18 interviews. Data analysis utilised initial, focused, and advanced coding techniques, supported by constant comparative analysis.

Findings Preliminary findings that emerged from the data are : Morality of Caring, Belonging, Socialisation of Dying and Antecedence. The theoretical insight gained from this study has provided a more detailed understanding of factors that prepare students to care for dying patients, an insight which will help to shape education delivery and practice support, as well as opportunities for future research.

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