Nurses' attitudes toward caring for patients with AIDS
The main purpose of this study was to examine nurses' attitudes toward caring for patients with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The study also compared the attitudes of nurses who had cared for AIDS patients with the attitudes of nurses who had not cared for AIDS patients. Educational background was also examined to see if education influences attitudes. The Ajzen-Fishbein Model of Reasoned Action was the framework used for this study.A descriptive design was used for the purpose of gaining more information regarding nurses' attitudes toward caring for patients with AIDS. A random sample of all registered nurses in the state of Indiana was used for this study. The data obtained were analyzed using frequency distributions, independent t-tests, and analysis of variance.Nurses in general are sill uncomfortable with caring for AIDS patients. Between 40% and 50% of nurses are fearful of contracting the AIDS virus and fearful of putting their family at risk. On the other hand, approximately the same percentage are comfortable caring for AIDS patients. Furthermore, nurses believe that health care agencies should care for AIDS patients, but believe that nurses should have the right to refuse to care for AIDS patients.Results of this study indicated that educational background does not influence nurses' attitudes toward caring for patients with AIDS. However, as nurses have more experience caring for patients with AIDS, they appear to develop more positive attitudes.