This literature review supports the premise that opinions regarding euthanasia differ among various groups of professional. This literature review demonstrates that the nurse plays an important role in the perceived quality of the death experience. The study indicates that there is a need for training in a number of clinical settings regarding care of the dying and futile treatments. Literature indicated that differences exist between nurses that are new to palliative care and those that have been in the job for quite some time. The literature review supports the importance of this study and indicates that differences exist among various specialties and facilities. This study will play an important role in understanding how differences in attitudes towards euthanasia are affected by years of experience and clinical setting. The ultimate goal of the study will be to find ways to improve the experiences of dying patients and their families.
Chapter 3: Methodology
The purpose of this study is to examine differences in attitude among two groups of nursing students: one in the palliative care setting and one in the general hospital setting. The design will be a comparative study of the attitudes of these two groups of nursing students regarding the issue of euthanasia. The survey instrument will be developed specifically for this research study.
The sample population will consist of 200 nursing students in various stages of their internship. They will be divided into two groups of 100 students each. Equal numbers will from palliative care facilities and the others will be working in a general hospital critical care unit. Only student nurses will be considered, as the literature review suggests that experience has an affect on changing attitudes towards euthanasia. The only exclusion criteria will that nurses are still interns.
The setting of the study will be local palliative care facilities and general hospitals in the area, as needed to complete the number of surveys required by the study. The survey instrument will be devised specifically for this study. It will use the survey instrument from the study conducted by De Bal (2006) as a model, but it will differ to fit the current research setting and hypothesis.
The dependent variable in this study will be nurses attitudes towards euthanasia. It will be measured through their responses to the survey questions. The independent variable will be the setting in which the nurse is serving their internship. These setting will provide the test instrument by differing experiences that are unique to the hospital setting. All of the sample subjects will be interns, therefore length on time in the nursing profession serves as an additional independent variable in the study.
Validity of the survey instrument will be comparative to the De Bal study. Internal reliability will be established through a test-retest process. Cronbach's Alpha will be used as the standard for establishing reliability in the sample. These methods will be discussed in further detail in the final research study.
This research methodology will provide a comparison between nurses in two different environments. It will help to explore factors that may influence the development of their attitudes towards palliative care and euthanasia. The study will use setting as a means to explore the effect of atmosphere on the development of nursing opinions. This study will provide valuable information as to ways in which the experiences of dying patients may be improved through more effective and comprehensive training regarding end of life decisions.
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