Year of Publication

2007

Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Department

Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

First Advisor

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Second Advisor

Dr. Joyce T. Jones

Third Advisor

Dr. John Kemppainen

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Pamela S. Chally

Abstract

Patient safety (i.e., the degree to which patients are free from accidental injury) has received a great deal of media coverage during the past few years. Professional and regulatory agencies have indicated that patient safety education should be provided to healthcare workers to improve health outcomes. The primary purpose of this exploratory study was to gain a better understanding of the current status of patient safety awareness among pre-licensure nursing students. To this end, six research questions guided the study:

1. Will interpretable item constructs be identified when responses to the Healthcare Professional Patient Safety Assessment Curriculum Survey (HPPSACS) are intercorrelated and factor analyzed using R-technique exploratory factor analysis?

2. Will responses to items on the HPPSACS yield scores that are intemally consistent as indicated by alpha reliability coefficients?

3. What are the perceptions of nursing students about their awareness, skills, and attitudes regarding patient safety?

4. (a) To what extent is there a relationship between the demographic variables of age and gender and nursing students' perceptions of their patient safety awareness, skills, and attitudes? (b) To what extent is there a relationship between the demographic variable of race/ethnicity and nursing students' perceptions of their patient safety awareness, skills, and attitudes?

5. To what extent is there a relationship between the type of collegiate nursing program and nursing students' perceptions of their patient safety awareness, skills, and attitudes?

6. To what extent are there discernable program curriculum and instructional methodologies that have been traditionally associated with more positive nursing student perceptions of awareness, skills, and attitudes regarding patient safety?

Phase I was a pilot test for reliability and construct validity for the HPPSACS. Data were factor analyzed to determine factor constructs for the purpose of identifying the key themes accounting for the variation in response across 23 survey items. Three factors with themes that were found to relate to perceptions of patient safety among a scholarly professional group of nurses were identified as comfort, error reporting, and denial. Findings in Phase II of the study indicated that there were four identifiable constructs with the study data: the themes of comfort, error reporting, denial, and culture. Older male participants had higher comfort subscale scores and lower culture subscales scores than did younger female participants. The Asian American participants were clearly distinguished from the combined set of African American and Hispanic participants on the denial and culture scores. The "other" ethnic identity was clearly distinguished from the combined set of Caucasian and Hispanic participants on the comfort and error reporting scores. The associate nursing degree programs were clearly distinguished from the combined set of the accelerated and traditional nursing degree programs. Findings in Phase III of the study indicated that all seven of the participating nursing schools included at least three of the Institute of Medicine's six core competencies, with one school exhibiting all of the core competencies.

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