Veterans Health Administration nurses' training and beliefs related to care of patients with traumatic brain injury.
Veteran patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their family members regularly receive care from nurses. Understanding nurses' training and beliefs can provide direction for intervention work aimed at ensuring the best possible care is delivered to this population.
We examined Veterans Health Administration (VHA) nurses' training and beliefs related to care of patients with moderate-to-severe TBI.
Design and methods
We conducted an exploratory, cross-sectional survey with 211 VHA nurses and analyzed data using descriptive statistics.
The average years of nursing experience was 18 years, and 90% reported ever caring for a patient with TBI. Most nurses (70%) reported only seeing patients with TBI ≤1-2 times per year in their current role; 20% reported seeing these patients 1-2 times per month. Even with infrequent care, almost 50% reported previously receiving TBI-related training. Beliefs items with the highest accuracy indicated nurses agreed that they need specialized training to care for patients with TBI and that TBI recovery may continue for several years (96.39% accuracy respectively). The beliefs item with the lowest accuracy indicated focus on whether nurses agreed that TBI severity was important in developing care plans (27.84% accuracy). Nurses reported the need for clarity of the nursing role in caring for patients with TBI (77.32% agreement).
VHA nurses do have accurate beliefs about caring for Veteran patients with moderate-to-severe TBI; however, there is the need for further role clarification regarding nursing care of patients with TBI.
These findings have implications for development of education and training interventions for nurses who care for Veteran patients with TBI.
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