Nurses' attitudes and perceptions towards pediatric oncology patients in relationship to the quality of nursing care they provide: a case study of Kenyatta National Hospital.
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Cancer is a disease that creates fearand uncertainty in individuals in our society. This is mainly due to its poor prognosis. It is therefore regarded as not only a fatal disease, but also as a symbol of death. Cultural beliefs and practices playa big role in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. A patient becoming ill is a social progress that involves other people besides the patient. In the African belief system, misfortunes such as ill health, natural disaster, or death do not just occur, but are perceived to be pre-destined. The objective ofthis study was to document nurses' attitudes and perceptions towards pediatric cancer patients. This research was conducted in pediatric oncology unit in Ward IE, Medical Wards 3A, 3B, 3C, and 3D at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). Thestudy population was drawn from wards IE, 3A, 3B, 3C, and 3D. The criteria used to include subjects were: all nurses who had been deployed to the selected wards at the time of the study. Target respondents must have held a minimum qualification of certificate in nursing (ECN, KRCHN, BSc.N, and MSc.N) and had been registered with the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) at the time of the study. The target respondent should also have worked for a minimum of one year. A list of all nurses ( sampling frame) working in wards 1 E, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D was obtained from the Chief Nurse's office. There were approximately 129 nurses who comprised the study population. The sample size calculation was done using Cochran's classical formula for sample size determination in surveys (Czaja & Blair, 2005). A total of 97 nurses were sampled for this study but only seventy nurses (representing 72.2 % of the total targeted sample size) participated in the study. A simple random sampling procedure was used to select nurses to participate in the study. The results show that there is indeed significant relationship between-the factors that explain nurse's attitudes and: perceptions and the quality. of care he/she gives: to•, the' patients. The results suggest that there is a relationship between the nurses' perception and attitudes towards pediatric cancers and the quality, of care they give to pediatric' oncology patients.