Attitudes and stereotypes: nurses’ work with older people

Authors

  • Ann Pursey PhD RGN BNurs RHV,

    1. Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Corporate Strategy and Change, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, England
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  • Karen Luker PhD BNurs RGN RHV DNCert

    Corresponding author
    1. Professor of Community Nursing, Department of Nursing, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England
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Professor K Luker Department of Nursing, University of Liverpool, PO Box 147 Liverpool LB9 3BX England

Abstract

The study reported here sought to describe the differences between nurses’ attitudes towards work with older people in the collective sense and their attitudes towards the individuals with whom they work A convenience sample of 136 community nurses was obtained Data were collected by means of a questionnaire incorporating the report of two critical incidents — one of effective practice and one of ineffective practice with older people In addition in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 respondents The findings lead the authors to challenge the common assumption that an identified lack of desire in nurses to work with older people is due solely to negative attitudes which nurses hold towards older people themselves The paper concludes that the high dependency levels of older people and structure of nursing work with older people in hospitals means that fewer nurses make this area a positive career choice

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