Undergraduate nursing students' learning needs and attitudes about trauma and trauma-informed care

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Trauma is a very prominent and pervasive problem that causes numerous and harmful effects on the physical and mental health of those affected. Trauma-informed care (TIC) is a care framework that encourages healthcare workers to acknowledge trauma and care for patients in a way that takes past traumas into account. The practice of trauma-informed care leads to better healthcare experiences, better health outcomes, better trauma recovery, and more health compliance in trauma survivors. Unfortunately, many healthcare workers, including nurses, recognize the significance of trauma but feel unprepared to provide trauma-informed care to patients. The doctor of nursing practice project presented here sought to assess the current level of TIC education for undergraduate maternal-child nursing students at Montana State University College of Nursing. A secondary aim of this project was to provide guidance and recommendations to maternal-child nursing faculty for revisions to current curriculum. In order to achieve this aim, nursing students were recruited to participate in a survey that evaluated participants' attitudes about trauma, trauma-informed care, and which aspects of trauma-informed care they felt most strong and most weak in. The data were analyzed to evaluate undergraduate nursing students' current preparedness for providing trauma-informed care in their future nursing practice. The findings indicated that participants did feel somewhat confident in their understanding that trauma is impactful on women and that trauma-informed care can be beneficial. The participants also understood that working with trauma-affected patients can emotionally impact or re-traumatize a healthcare worker. Participants reported a lack of confidence in their ability to recognize trauma, recognize trauma-affected patients, and provide appropriate TIC to these patients. These data were used to guide the creation of a trauma-informed care education resource for nursing educators to utilize for teaching future nursing students about trauma-informed care. Ideally, this resource will encourage and facilitate the implementation of basic TIC education for nursing students, which will help future Montana State University nursing cohorts become more knowledgeable and confident in trauma-informed care as they prepare to join the nursing workforce.




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