The effect of prior experience in a rehabilitation setting on students' attitudes toward the disabled.
The attitudes and reactions of rehabilitation nurses and nursing students toward patients with disabilities are important to the patients' adjustment and care over time. The purpose of this research study was to examine the effect of prior work experience and clinical experience in a rehabilitation setting on students' attitudes toward the disabled. The study involved the administration of Yuker, Block, and Young's (1966) Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons Scale (ATDP). Nursing students (N = 225) appropriately completed the ATDP before and 1 month after attending an educational workshop on care of people with disabilities. Prior work experience with such people was found to have a significant impact on student attitudes. Subjects with prior work experience in a rehabilitation setting had significantly higher scores on the ATDP, indicating more positive attitudes toward people with disabilities, than did subjects without this experience. Students who had clinical experience in a rehabilitation setting had higher scores on the ATDP than students without it, but the difference was not statistically significant.
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