The Effect of the Physical Examination Course on Self-Confidence, Anxiety, and Knowledge Levels in the Postoperative Clinical Decision-Making Process Among Nursing Students
Keywords:Physical examination, surgery, clinical decision-making, nursing education
This study aimed to investigate the impact of a physical examination course on self-confidence, anxiety, and knowledge levels regarding postoperative clinical decision-making among nursing students. This quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest control group study focused on second-year students in the nursing department of a university situated in eastern Turkey. Without sample selection, all students who agreed to participate in the study and completed the questionnaires on both the first and last days of the physical examination course were included in the analysis. The data were collected using the “Sociodemographic Data Collection Form”, the “Abdominal Examination/Surgical Drain Follow-up Knowledge Test”, and the “The Nursing Anxiety and Self-Confidence with Clinical Decision-Making Scale”. Statistical analyses were conducted employing chi-square, Wilcoxon, and Mann-Whitney U tests. According to the results, post-test anxiety scores were significantly lower among participants in the experimental group than those in the control group (p<0.001) and their self-confidence post-test scores were significantly higher. A positive and moderately significant correlation was observed between abdominal examination (p=0.004), surgical drain follow-up (p=0.011), and the self-confidence sub-dimension of the clinical decision-making scale. Additionally, a moderately significant negative relationship was identified between the anxiety and self-confidence levels of nursing students (p=0.014). It is concluded that the physical examination course contributed to increased knowledge levels in abdominal examination and surgical drain follow-up, along with enhanced self-confidence in clinical decision-making and reduced anxiety levels.
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