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Do You Feel Safe at Home? Assessing Nursing Students’ Ability to Care for Patients Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence

​​Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an issue that healthcare providers frequently encounter in their practice. Nursing students do not typically receive extensive training or education on IPV in the clinical setting.. The purpose of this study is to explore nursing student confidence and preparedness on the topic of IPV and potentially identify the areas in which students need further education. There is evidence identifying both nurses and nursing students feel inadequately prepared to encounter IPV in their practice. Nursing students (n=87) at a university in New England were surveyed using an adapted tool consisting of a case study scenario about a woman who is exhibiting signs of IPV followed by 15 questions designed to assess participants’ feelings of preparedness and self-confidence in caring for patients experiencing IPV. Statistically significant relationships were identified with higher preparedness scores and students who encountered IPV at work (p=0.000) and students who had personal experience with IPV (p=0.000). Of the sample, 17% encountered IPV at work and 55% had close personal experience with IPV. By addressing these issues in the student population, future nurses will be prepared to encounter this issue in the clinical setting. Based on the results, future educational activities that promote or simulate clinical exposure to IPV can be implemented to better prepare students and improve their confidence when encountering IPV in the clinical setting.

Fiona Cioch '22
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