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Listening to elders' stories : transforming nursing students' perceptions about gerontology nursing

Tweedie, Jeanine R. (2012). Listening to elders' stories : transforming nursing students' perceptions about gerontology nursing. PhD Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Tweedie, Jeanine R.
Title Listening to elders' stories : transforming nursing students' perceptions about gerontology nursing
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2012
Thesis Type PhD
Subjects 1110 - Nursing
Abstract When teaching gerontology nursing to nursing students, their preconceived ideas, biases and prejudices associated with ageing become barriers to effective learning and caring for elders. Nursing literature recommends that gerontology nursing educators address these challenges by providing nursing students with positive learning experiences with well elders. Listening to elders’ stories has been shown to be a positive experience but little is known about how the experience impacts nursing students. This thesis explores the experiences of 15 baccalaureate nursing students in Hawai`i who were interviewed to share their experiences listening to elders tell their stories. Using the methodology of narrative inquiry and the method of life story, each audio taped interview was restoried into a narrative text and analysed for emerging themes. The major theme of liminal spaces represents the transitions that occurred throughout the nursing students’ stories. The conceptual framework of cultural safety and the philosophical position of Martin Buber informed this study of gerontology nursing education and practice in relation to the balance of power in the care of elders and the nurturing of relationship. The key findings indicate that the nursing students were transformed both personally and professionally by listening to the stories of elders. Consequently, they discovered that the experience changed their attitudes and improved the way they provided nursing care to elders. This supports the desired outcomes of gerontology nursing education and confirms that listening to elders’ stories is a valuable educational strategy. Key words: cultural safety, elders, gerontology nursing, nursing students, life stories, narrative inquiry

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