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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 99-106

Nursing students' perspectives on assisting cancer patients


1 Department of Internal Diseases Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
2 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Sevgisun Kapucu
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Diseases Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Hacettepe University, Ankara
Turkey
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/apjon.apjon_44_17

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Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the experiences of student nurses who have provided care to cancer patients. Methods: A mixed method approach consisting of semistructured focus groups (n = 61) and a survey questionnaire (n = 129) was used in the study. Student nurses were first interviewed, and then, a questionnaire was developed for them to answer. Following the content analysis, three themes and 19 subthemes were identified. Frequency and percent were used for qualitative data. Results: Among the student nurses, 80.6% reported that working with cancer patients was “difficult.” Difficulties experienced by the student nurses included patients rejecting their care, a large number of problems cases encountered when providing care to cancer patients, communication problems (38.0%), working with patients and attendants who fear death, and problems arising from family attendants who obstruct care. The majority of students experienced patients fearing death (28.7%) and felt feelings such as pity (71.1%), sadness (50.0%), and fear of cancer (41.9%) during their internships in oncology clinics. Conclusions: Students should be supported by instructors and oncology nurses, and nursing curricula should contain topics on how to best approach cancer patients.


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