Journal of Education and
Research in Nursing
Research Article - Hemşirelik Esasları

Nurses’ knowledge and use of physical assessment methods within the context of patient assessment

1.

Koç Üniversitesi Hemşirelik Yüksek Okulu

Journal of Education and Research in Nursing 2004; 1: 29-33
Read: 679 Downloads: 256 Published: 01 April 2004

OBJECTIVE: The first step of the multi-step nursing process is comprehensive data collection. Physical assessment (PA) methods were first used in nursing in North America in the sixties. Although PA is an integral part of nursing care, it is not being taught in the majority of undergraduate nursing programs in our country (Turkey). This work is a pilot study attempting to assess clinical nurses’ knowledge and application of physical assessment methods; their thoughts on the necessity of PA; whether the hospitals expect the nurses to know and apply PA; and where the nurses got their training in PA. The study was completed between November 2003-January 2004 in comparable wards of a university hospital and a private hospital in Istanbul, Turkey. The study sample comprised of 132 subjects, all the nurses in the surgical, cardiology, neurology, intensive care and internal medicine wards of the two hospitals, who gave consent to participate in our cross-sectional survey. The subjects were asked to fill-out a demographic questionnaire and three sheets of Likert Scale questions about their level of knowledge, their need and frequency of use of 39 different PA items. Data were entered and analysed in SPSS statistical package. The majority of the subjects (% 86.4) thought that physical assessment skills were necessary for their work. We identified measuring vital signs as the most widely known and used PA item in our study population. In contrast, intra-ocular examination was the least known PA item. We used ANOVA testing to examine the effect of work-years (p>;0.05: no effect) and the type of hospital ward (p 0.05: statistically significant effect) in ‘knowledge and use of PA methods’. Education level, type of ward nd work-years were strongly associated with a self reported need to use PA methods (p 0.05). We also determined a statistically significant difference between the two hospitals with regards to their knowledge, frequency of use and need to use PA methods (p 0.05).

METHODS: The first step of the multi-step nursing process is comprehensive data collection. Physical assessment (PA) methods were first used in nursing in North America in the sixties. Although PA is an integral part of nursing care, it is not being taught in the majority of undergraduate nursing programs in our country (Turkey). This work is a pilot study attempting to assess clinical nurses’ knowledge and application of physical assessment methods; their thoughts on the necessity of PA; whether the hospitals expect the nurses to know and apply PA; and where the nurses got their training in PA. The study was completed between November 2003-January 2004 in comparable wards of a university hospital and a private hospital in Istanbul, Turkey. The study sample comprised of 132 subjects, all the nurses in the surgical, cardiology, neurology, intensive care and internal medicine wards of the two hospitals, who gave consent to participate in our cross-sectional survey. The subjects were asked to fill-out a demographic questionnaire and three sheets of Likert Scale questions about their level of knowledge, their need and frequency of use of 39 different PA items. Data were entered and analysed in SPSS statistical package. The majority of the subjects (% 86.4) thought that physical assessment skills were necessary for their work. We identified measuring vital signs as the most widely known and used PA item in our study population. In contrast, intra-ocular examination was the least known PA item. We used ANOVA testing to examine the effect of work-years (p>;0.05: no effect) and the type of hospital ward (p 0.05: statistically significant effect) in ‘knowledge and use of PA methods’. Education level, type of ward nd work-years were strongly associated with a self reported need to use PA methods (p 0.05). We also determined a statistically significant difference between the two hospitals with regards to their knowledge, frequency of use and need to use PA methods (p 0.05).

RESULTS: The first step of the multi-step nursing process is comprehensive data collection. Physical assessment (PA) methods were first used in nursing in North America in the sixties. Although PA is an integral part of nursing care, it is not being taught in the majority of undergraduate nursing programs in our country (Turkey). This work is a pilot study attempting to assess clinical nurses’ knowledge and application of physical assessment methods; their thoughts on the necessity of PA; whether the hospitals expect the nurses to know and apply PA; and where the nurses got their training in PA. The study was completed between November 2003-January 2004 in comparable wards of a university hospital and a private hospital in Istanbul, Turkey. The study sample comprised of 132 subjects, all the nurses in the surgical, cardiology, neurology, intensive care and internal medicine wards of the two hospitals, who gave consent to participate in our cross-sectional survey. The subjects were asked to fill-out a demographic questionnaire and three sheets of Likert Scale questions about their level of knowledge, their need and frequency of use of 39 different PA items. Data were entered and analysed in SPSS statistical package. The majority of the subjects (% 86.4) thought that physical assessment skills were necessary for their work. We identified measuring vital signs as the most widely known and used PA item in our study population. In contrast, intra-ocular examination was the least known PA item. We used ANOVA testing to examine the effect of work-years (p>;0.05: no effect) and the type of hospital ward (p 0.05: statistically significant effect) in ‘knowledge and use of PA methods’. Education level, type of ward nd work-years were strongly associated with a self reported need to use PA methods (p 0.05). We also determined a statistically significant difference between the two hospitals with regards to their knowledge, frequency of use and need to use PA methods (p 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The first step of the multi-step nursing process is comprehensive data collection. Physical assessment (PA) methods were first used in nursing in North America in the sixties. Although PA is an integral part of nursing care, it is not being taught in the majority of undergraduate nursing programs in our country (Turkey). This work is a pilot study attempting to assess clinical nurses’ knowledge and application of physical assessment methods; their thoughts on the necessity of PA; whether the hospitals expect the nurses to know and apply PA; and where the nurses got their training in PA. The study was completed between November 2003-January 2004 in comparable wards of a university hospital and a private hospital in Istanbul, Turkey. The study sample comprised of 132 subjects, all the nurses in the surgical, cardiology, neurology, intensive care and internal medicine wards of the two hospitals, who gave consent to participate in our cross-sectional survey. The subjects were asked to fill-out a demographic questionnaire and three sheets of Likert Scale questions about their level of knowledge, their need and frequency of use of 39 different PA items. Data were entered and analysed in SPSS statistical package. The majority of the subjects (% 86.4) thought that physical assessment skills were necessary for their work. We identified measuring vital signs as the most widely known and used PA item in our study population. In contrast, intra-ocular examination was the least known PA item. We used ANOVA testing to examine the effect of work-years (p>;0.05: no effect) and the type of hospital ward (p 0.05: statistically significant effect) in ‘knowledge and use of PA methods’. Education level, type of ward nd work-years were strongly associated with a self reported need to use PA methods (p 0.05). We also determined a statistically significant difference between the two hospitals with regards to their knowledge, frequency of use and need to use PA methods (p 0.05). 

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