HSC Education Days

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Purpose: This study investigated nursing students' awareness of their communication manner while wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Background/Significance: Nursing students are educated to use therapeutic communication and students are instructed on how to wear PPE; however, there are many challenges of effective communication while wearing PPE. Method: An online survey was emailed to undergraduate and graduate students. Result(s): The study response rate was approximately 9%. Most respondents were undergraduate nursing students (56%). An important finding was that 42% of students did not learn communication skills while wearing PPE. When students were asked about actively listening to patient’s concerns while wearing PPE, 90% reported always and 11% reported usually. Students perceived their communication skills while wearing PPE as effective. When asked about effectiveness, 13% reported sometimes, 63% reported usually and 21% reported always. However, there may be other factors in addition to the PPE that may have contributed to the patient’s medical condition and communication ability as well as the students’ perceived ability and experiences while delivering patient care wearing PPE. Conclusions/implications: Nurses learn about PPE and communication skills in nursing school. However, the challenges of effective communication while wearing PPE are not addressed directly. Nurses must acknowledge communication challenges while wearing PPE and develop approaches to promote effective communication. It is recommended that nurse educators develop methods and approaches to educate student nurses in effective communication will wearing PPE.


This poster was presented during the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Education Days.



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