eCite Digital Repository

Final year nursing student's exposure to education and knowledge about sepsis: A multi-university study


Harley, A and Massey, D and Ullman, AJ and Reid-Searl, K and Schlapbach, LJ and Takashima, M and Venkatesh, B and Datta, R and Johnston, ANB, Final year nursing student's exposure to education and knowledge about sepsis: A multi-university study, Nurse Education Today, 97 Article 104703. ISSN 0260-6917 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2020.104703


Background: Sepsis is a leading cause of death and disability in adults and children. Evidence suggests that early recognition and management can significantly improve patient outcomes, therefore education of healthcare workers around sepsis is critical. Little is known about the preparation of final year nursing students regarding recognition and response to sepsis.

Objectives: To explore Australian final year nursing student's exposure to and knowledge of sepsis, and their awareness of the importance of early recognition, escalation and management of patients with sepsis.

Methods: An online 17-question survey was developed, validated and then used to evaluate final year nursing students' awareness and knowledge about sepsis.

Design: Multi-site, cross-sectional, study.

Settings: Data were prospectively collected from final year nursing students from five university (graduate entry and undergraduate) programmes from four Universities in Queensland, Australia.

Results: Response rate of 22% (237/1075 eligible students responded). Final year nursing students possessed limited knowledge about sepsis (mean scores = 3.8/9; SD = 1.6), and very limited knowledge of paediatric sepsis (median 1[interquartile range 0-1]). Many participants (54%; 128/237) had heard of sepsis prior to commencing their nursing studies, however only 22% (53/237) reported formal dedicated educational units on sepsis. Sepsis education was delivered primarily through didactic lectures (32%; 77/237) and often as part of courses encompassing acute care (38%; 91/237). Only 6% (14/237) of participants recalled exposure to education dedicated to paediatric sepsis.

Conclusions: The knowledge of final year nursing students in relation to recognising, escalating and managing sepsis was limited. There is an urgent need to design education which adequately and safely prepares nurses for the challenges they face when caring for patients with sepsis, particularly paediatric sepsis. Accrediting bodies should consider mandating inclusion of sepsis education as part of all nursing programmes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:knowledge, management, nursing, recognition, response, sepsis, student, survey, paediatric
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Reid-Searl, K (Professor Kerry Reid-Searl)
ID Code:153584
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2022-09-27
Last Modified:2022-11-17

Repository Staff Only: item control page