Assessing the Effectiveness of Sensitivity Modules to Improve Nursing Student Attitudes Towards the Bariatric Patient Population
Obesity is a growing concern in healthcare today. More than one-third of the adult population in the United States is considered obese. In the medical field, anyone who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30 is considered a bariatric patient. What is the importance of nursing students having access to training in bariatric patient care and education? Due to this alarming statistic, it is important that students training to become registered nurses are taught how to properly care for this population. Specific considerations involving the care, nursing safety, stereotypes associated with obesity in healthcare, as well as understanding the disease itself, are important factors in caring for these patients. As obesity is associated with a variety of health concerns, it is important for healthcare providers to eliminate discrimination and negative attitudes towards the bariatric patient population in order to provide unbiased care. This research study explored bariatric training with the use of sensitivity modules in nursing school. It examined if the modules help to improve student attitudes towards the bariatric population. It also analyzed how students feel about bariatric care before and after sensitivity modules were introduced as a tool to improve their attitudes towards this population. Creating an empathetic healthcare environment regarding the bariatric patient population provides tools for quality, unbiased care.