A Survey of Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Nurse Educators’ Teaching Practices and Attitudes Toward Driving Safety in Hospice and Palliative Care Patients

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In 2014, the National Hospice and Palliative Care organization estimated that 1.6 to 1.7 million Americans received hospice services, an increase of nearly 20% from the year 2010. Approximately 20% to 25% of hospice patients have the functional ability to drive. The increasing number of patients served by hospice and palliative services makes the issue of driving safety more important than ever. Because nurses practice at the frontline of care, they have an integral role in determining whether patients have the ability to drive safely. Our objective was to examine the teaching practices and attitudes of Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA)–certified nurse educators regarding patient driving safety. An anonymous, cross-sectional email survey was sent to the 276 HPNA-certified nurse educators. One hundred twenty-six nurse educators (46%) responded. A large majority (90%) either strongly agree or agree that teaching nurses how to determine whether a patient is at risk for impaired driving is important. A minority, however, reported educating nurses on how to (1) determine whether a patient is at risk for impaired driving (18%), (2) counsel patients about impaired driving (21%), and (3) report potentially impaired drivers to the proper authorities (21%). Most nurse educators do not feel confident in their ability to teach nurses on the topic of impaired driving (38%) but are receptive to further education (87%). There is a need for further education of HPNA nurse educators in the area of patient driving safety.

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