Are nurse practitioners prepared for the AIDS epidemic?


Treatment of HIV-infected individuals will become a regular part of mainstream medical practice because of the increasing numbers of infected persons, the geographical dispersion of the disease, and the routine nature of much of the care required by seropositive patients. Nurse practitioners, like other health care professionals, need to be willing and able to provide such primary care. One hundred sixty-five NPs constituted an opportunity sample that was surveyed using an instrument that had been adapted from one used successfully in studies of other health professionals. The instrument consisted of 80 forced-answer and six open-ended questions. The response rate was 63 percent. It was found that nurse practitioners believed there was moderate risk of occupational contraction of HIV. NPs were more likely to agree on activities they believed to be of low risk than about the danger of perceived higher-risk activities. The respondents judged themselves as fairly competent in their ability to provide counseling and information to patients about HIV and risk-reduction. Half believed that their lack of knowledge was the biggest barrier to providing care to HIV-infected persons. Eighty-five percent thought courses on the medical aspects of AIDS were necessary, and 78 percent wanted courses in the social, ethical and legal implications of the disease. This study shows that there is a widely perceived need for continuing education on both medical and social aspects of AIDS in order to enable nurse practitioners to play a greater role in primary care provision for persons with AIDS.

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@article{Sumser1990AreNP, title={Are nurse practitioners prepared for the AIDS epidemic?}, author={J Sumser and Barbara Gerbert and Bryan T. Maguire and M Tadd}, journal={The Nurse practitioner}, year={1990}, volume={15 4}, pages={48, 50, 53-6} }