Assessing the Nursing and Midwifery Students Competencies in Communication With Patients With Severe Communication Problems

Authors

1Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran

Abstract

Background Clients with communication impairment are at risk for health disparity. Hence, health care workers should be knowledgeable and skillful in communication. However, no studies are available on Iranian nursing and midwifery students’ communication skills with patients with severe communication problems. Objectives The present study was conducted to investigate Iranian nursing and midwifery students' competencies in communication with patients with severe communication problems. Materials and Methods This study was performed on all senior nursing and midwifery students of Kashan University of Medical Sciences in spring 2013. Data were collected through a knowledge questionnaire and two checklists for evaluation of skills needed for communication with patients with severe communication problems. Data analysis was performed through independent samples t test, and Fisher’s exact test. Results In total, 68.8% of the participants were female, 37.6% had a history of part-time job as a nurse or midwife. The mean score of knowledge were 4.41 ± 1.42 and 4.77 ± 1.77 for nursing and midwifery students, respectively and the difference was not significant (P = 0.312). In addition, the mean score of communication skills with deaf patients was 13.23 ± 4.68 and 11.86 ± 5.55 for nursing and midwifery students, respectively and the difference was not significant (P = 0.258). Also, the mean score of communication skills with stutter patients was 23.91 ± 4.17 and 21.25 ± 3.91 for nursing and midwifery students, respectively but the difference was not significant (P = 0.269). Conclusions Nursing and midwifery students did not significantly differ in terms of communication with patients with severe communication problems. Most of the students had low or very low knowledge and skills in communication with patients with hearing impairment. However, they had better skills in communication with patient with speech problem. Special workshops or training programs are recommended to empower nursing and midwifery students in communication with patients with communication problems.

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