Title : Senior high school students’ opinions and thoughts about nurses and nursing: A comparative study
Aim: The aim of this study is to compare the opinions about nurses and nursing among senior high school students receiving education in the 2006–2007 academic year with those of senior high school students receiving education in the 2017–2018 academic year.
Method: A descriptive and comparative research design was used in this study. In all, 400 senior high school students enrolled in 10 high schools, including 200 receiving education in the 2006–2007 academic year (Group 1) and 200 receiving education in 2017–2018 academic year (Group 2) in the city center of Çank?r? Province, were included in the sample using a randomization method. The sociodemographic characteristics of students and their opinions about nurses and nursing were collected using a "Student Information Form" that was developed by the researchers. The data were analyzed using percentage, frequency, and the Chi-Square test.
Results: In this study, 58.5% of the students were female; 62% were 17 years old; 42% of their mothers were primary school graduates and 78% of the mothers were housewives; 34.5% of their fathers were high school graduates and 35.7% of the fathers were civil servants. This study found that of the students in both groups, 44.2% had "positive" opinions about nurses before they were hospitalized (p<0.05); 65.2% found nurses "knowledgeable and tolerant" during the days they were staying in the hospital; 35.5% got their opinions about nursing by "their own experience and observations" (p<0.05). Further, 78.2% regarded a nurse as a person "who measures vital signs, does what the physicians say, provides patients with holistic care and gives injections, drip-feeds patients, and administers medicines" (p<0.05). Among them, 44% "did not want to be a nurse" (p<0.05), and the reasons for not wanting to be a nurse included that 48.9% "did not like nursing" (p<0.05), 65.7% stated that "there should be male nurses in Turkey" (p<0.05); "if they had made a selection", 44.7% of the students would prefer "being a physician" in the first place (p<0.05), whereas only 4.7% would prefer "nursing" in the first place; 86% "want to obtain information about health (p<0.05).
Conclusion: This study found that the students' opinions about nursing were positive, but almost half of them did not want to be a nurse and did not like nursing. To sum up, the opinions of students about nursing have not changed in the last ten years. It is recommended that the nursing profession be introduced by nursing professionals and professional organizations to all students, starting from the primary school level via mass media to enable nursing to be a desirable profession. It is also recommended that special promotion days be arranged to inform students about nursing education, nurses’ services and occupational roles; that universities and nursing schools lead this promotion; and that the working conditions of nurses be improved.