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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-58

Is what is known enough? Knowledge, perception and competencies on reproductive and sexual health issues of nursing students from a Metropolitan City, Karnataka

1 Professor-Nursing, Division of Epidemiology and Population Health, St John's Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Free-lance Consultant, St John's Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Director-Pledge Academy, St John's Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
4 Senior Resident, Division of Biostatistics, St John's Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Maryann Washington
Division of Epidemiology and Population Health, St. John's Research Institute, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCN.IJCN_47_20

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Nurses, by nature of their training and experience, are expected to be proficient in addressing sensitive issues, including reproductive and sexual health (RSH). However, health-care professionals are known to struggle with their personal and professional views with respect to these concerns. It is important to determine what young nursing students know and perceive about RSH issues and how they assess their own abilities to address these issues. Cross-sectional sample of 723 1st year nursing students of the undergraduate and diploma programmes, enrolled in eight institutions in a metropolitan city in Karnataka, South India, were selected purposively for this survey. Data were obtained through a self-administered questionnaire under four main sections as follows: (i) baseline information of the student; (ii) assessment of knowledge on 'growing up issues', 'prevention of pregnancy' and 'sexually transmitted infections including HIV;' (iii) understanding perceptions of students on RSH and (iv) self-assessed competency of students. Overall knowledge scores of students were below average (<50%). Responses of students to statements related to their perceptions indicated they required clarification on various RSH issues. Students assessed their personal and professional competency to deal with RSH issues, as a little above average (56%). Cognizance of these gaps in knowledge, perceptions and self-assessed competency on RSH issues of 1st year nursing students, necessitates educators to address these gaps early in their program as they, within 6-month of being enrolled for nursing, have clinical and community postings for a considerable duration of time.

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