- Journal of Nursing Education
- July 2012 - Volume 51 · Issue 7: 407-410
As people with intellectual disabilities live longer and develop more chronic illnesses, nurses will have increasing contact with them. Therefore, nurses must have both an accurate understanding of and a positive attitude toward this population to ensure optimal nursing care is received. A cross-sectional survey of second-year and fourth-year nursing students measured their perceptions of disability, their contact with people with intellectual disabilities, and their perceptions of education to prepare them to care for people with intellectual disabilities. Students most often identified disability as physical, using a wheelchair to represent that perception. Students were confident in their ability to transfer many of the skills they learned to care for people with intellectual disabilities but identified a need for more education about providing that care. Curricular changes to enhance nursing students’ awareness and understanding of people with intellectual disabilities are recommended.
Dr. Temple is Assistant Professor, and Dr. Mordoch is Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.
Address correspondence to Beverley Temple, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, 483 Helen Glass Centre for Nursing, 89 Curry Place, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada; e-mail: .Bev.email@example.com