Attitude of Nurses Towards Patients Living with HIV/AIDS

The Attitude of Nurses Towards Patients Living with HIV/AIDS in Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (Fetha) Ebonyi State.

ABSTRACT

The study assessed the attitude of nurses towards patients living with HIV/AIDS in Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA), Ebonyi State. Three objectives guided the study which includes to identify the acceptable standard of care for patients living with HIV/AIDS among nurses, to determine the attitude of nurses towards patients living with HIV/AIDS, to determine the ways of improving attitudes of nurses toward patient living with HIV/AIDS in Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA). Related literature were reviewed and summarized. A descriptive research designs were used for the study. The study population comprised of 133 registered nurses. 100 registered nurses were selected through stratified random sampling technique and systematic sampling technique. A self-structured questionnaire was validated by the project supervisor and is the only instrument used for data collection. Data collected were analyzed with the use of frequency distribution tables. The result of the study showed that 50% of the nurses that the standard of care for these patients are counseling and reassurance, majority 65% of the nurses have negative attitude towards these patients and Majority 48(48%) of the nurses stated that the attitude of the nurses towards patients living with HIV/AIDS can be improved by employing adequate skilled/trained nurses. Based on the findings, there is need to intensity health education and improve knowledge and attitude of health care professionals through workshops, seminars, group discussions and conferences.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

From the beginning of the pandemic in 1981 to date, HIV has continued to spread at the rate of more than 10,000 new cases per day despite significant efforts made to contain its spread. Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa is not spared, as the epidemic continues to show a rapidly increasing trend with a median prevalence of over 5% and over two million people already infected. With the increasing number of people living with HIV/AIDS, AIDS control and preventive strategies must not only continue to encourage behavioural modification by all, but should also highlight the need to respect the rights of care of the increasing number of people with HIV/ AIDS (Stone & Kaleeba, 2008).

According to Figo (2009), there should be full integration of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) within the context of their family and society at large in the most appropriate ways that would allow them to continue to live productive lives socially and economically. In reality, however, the fear of being infected at workplaces, educational institutions and in the community has led to irrational and discriminatory treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Their rights to employment, housing, education and even health and nursing care are being violated because of their HIV status. This practice unfortunately exist despite strong evidence from research that has revealed that non-sexual contact with HIV positive individuals carries little or no risk. This is even more so if careful precaution with blood products are taken as this further protects people from contracting the infection. Health care providers, who are also members of the general community, are like to elicit similar prejudicial and fearful reactions to HIV/AIDS infected persons as members of the community. The resultant effects of negative attitudes to people living with HIV/AIDS include poor patient management. They are denied most needed treatment, care and support. This in turn could affect their moral, self-esteem and self-determination to live quality lives devoid of stigma, fear, repression and discrimination.

Maintaining the desired quality of life of people with HIV/AIDS is possible mainly through extensive competent and compassionate Nursing care. Yet, the provision of this care raises health and occupational concerns for all levels of health care providers. There is therefore, an urgent need for all health care providers, particularly nurses who have direct contact and spend more time with patient, to examine their personal attitudes toward PLWAS, as this can compromise compassionate care (Worobeg, Gammmel & Teuwne, 2008).

 Statement of Problem

The main responsibility of nurses is caring for patient with various types of diseases including HIV/AIDS as stated by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and World Health Organization (WHO) declaration on AIDS on 1987. At this declaration, it was resolved that HIV/AIDS are international health problem of extraordinary urgency in terms of how pandemic it is in nature. The attitudes of nurses towards people living with HIV/AIDS have long been under scrutiny. Past studies showed that some nurses were reluctant to provide care for people with HIV/AIDS because of fear of contagion (Goldenberg & Laschinger, 2008). According to a United Nations aids taskforce report (UNAIDS, 2006). Negative attitude and reluctance to provide care result in a poorer quality care.

­On several occasions, the researcher observed during her clinical experience that many of HIV/AIDS patients admitted in various hospitals are neglected compared to the ones that are free from the disease. Severally, the parents and relations of these patients are left to carry out most of the nursing care. This now arouse the researcher to find out the attitude of nurses towards patients with HIV/AIDS in Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State as they purport to nurse unto Christ.

 Objective of the Study

  • To identify the acceptable standard of care for patients living with HIV/AIDS among nurses in Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA) Ebonyi State.
  • To determine the attitude of nurses towards patients living with HIV/AIDS in Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA) Ebonyi State.
  • To determine the ways of improving attitudes of nurses toward patient living with HIV/AIDS.

 Significance of the Study

  • At the end of the study, the attitude of nurses towards patient living with HIV/AIDS will change from negative to positive.
  • It will serve as a guide for other researchers carrying out research in related studies.
  • The nurses will also appreciate that HIV/AIDS cannot be contact through touching of patients
  • It will help the researcher acquire an in-depth knowledge of the topic under study.

 Research Questions

  • What are the acceptable standards of care for patients living with HIV/AIDS Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA) Ebonyi State?
  • What are the attitudes of nurses towards patient living with HIV/AIDS in Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA) Ebonyi State?
  • What are the ways of improving attitude of nurses towards patients living with HIV/AIDS?

Scope of Study

The scope of this study was delimited to only registered nurses working in Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA), Ebonyi State on their attitude toward patients living with HIV/AIDS.

 Operational Definition of Terms

  • Attitude: means the way nurses react or behave to a patient living with HIV/AIDS
  • Nurses: a person trained and registered to care for the sick
  • PLWHA: means people who have the human immunodeficiency virus HIV, the agent of disease AIDS.

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