Nursing is often hazardous work. Promoting safety and care requires nurses to apply knowledge, skill and creativity in patient encounters. Nurses' risk exposures are well documented, with research on student nurses' safety more limited. We studied final-year nursing students’ risk perceptions using questionnaire-based vignettes involving four patient presentations on patient aggression, manipulating patient and resource risk factors. We found student nurses were most likely to ask for help and wait when managing high-risk patient aggression scenarios. Student nurses placed most importance on their own safety and patient condition in making decisions. Resource risk significantly interacted with gender, with male nurses more likely to seek help when risks were high. There is need to improve student nurse training on managing patient aggression by promoting creative approaches to problem solving and critical thinking using simulation techniques to enhance situation awareness and translate knowledge to practice.
- Risk perception
- Student nurses