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A time to look within curricula—Nursing students’ perception on sexuality and gender issues

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DOI: 10.4236/ojn.2012.22010    4,913 Downloads   8,847 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Nursing students could be viewed as dynamic change agents given the knowledge and skills they would be equipped with. Amongst all areas to be addressed in their clientele of the hospital or community setting, one key area that a nurse could focus on is sexuality. This however is often neglected for simple reasons such as lack of knowledge, embarrassment, fear of intrusion on privacy, or it is perceived as an un-important concern of the patient. Focus groups discussions combined with self report were conducted on 84 nursing students selected by the faculty from three institutions of nursing to assess their perceptions related to sexuality and gender issues, and thus extrapolate on their learning needs within the curriculum. Student expressed discomfort in caring for patients who had sexual expressions and relationships different from the accepted cultural norm; perceived sexuality primarily as heterosexual relationship; helplessness when faced with sexual harassment in the health care field and gaps in their present curricula in relation to contextualization of sexuality and gender issues.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Washington, M. and Pereira, E. (2012) A time to look within curricula—Nursing students’ perception on sexuality and gender issues. Open Journal of Nursing, 2, 58-66. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2012.22010.

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