Passed without a stroke: A UK mixed method study exploring student nurses' knowledge of stroke.

Nurse education today

PubMedID: 22981516

Mason-Whitehead E, Ridgway V, Barton J. Passed without a stroke: A UK mixed method study exploring student nurses' knowledge of stroke. Nurse Educ Today. 2013;33(9):998-1002.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
To evaluate third year student nurses' knowledge and experiences of stroke education. To identify how student nurses can develop their understanding of stroke and its application to clinical nursing practice.

BACKGROUND
Stroke is an international health issue and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in many countries throughout the world. Nurses have a significant role to play in reducing death and disability in people who have suffered a stroke and it has been suggested that some nurses may not be educationally prepared to meet the challenges of this complex condition.

DESIGN
This evaluative study was based on a mixed method evaluative design. These quantitative and qualitative approaches involved the implementation of focus groups and questionnaires.

METHOD
The following outcomes were measured during students' final year of their nursing studies: students' profiles and an assessment of students' knowledge of stroke.

RESULTS
There was a mixed picture of student nurses' knowledge of stroke; a lack of awareness of some fundamental aspects of stroke including common symptoms, complications, risk factors and the long term treatment. Reassuringly, students expressed decisively the importance for nurses to be equipped with a sound foundation of stroke knowledge for clinical practice.

CONCLUSIONS
All nursing students should have experience of being in contact with people who have had a stroke - and at present this does not always happen. A national intervention study is now suggested with a view to providing stroke education which is proportionate to its significance as a major health issue.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE
Nurses draw upon their fundamental clinical skills to care and treat patients who have survived a stroke. Additionally, stroke survivors also require enhanced knowledge and this is recognised in the growth of specialist stroke nurses. Improving stroke mortality and morbidity is the responsibility of all of us involved in nurse education - introducing creative evaluative interventions could hold the most promising way forward.