Ebtsam Aly Abou Hashish has completed her PhD in the Faculty of Nursing at Alexandria University, Egypt. She is an Assistant Professor of Nursing Management and Leadership in College of Nursing at King Saud bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, KSA, and an Assistant Professor of Nursing Administration in the Faculty of Nursing at Alexandria University, Egypt. She teaches many management and ethics courses for undergraduates and post graduates and as well as participated in supervising many theses and dissertations as an academic supervisor. She also acts as an Associated Trainer in the Faculty and Leadership Development Center (FLDC). She has published more than 15 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an Editorial Board Member and Reviewer of reputed journals.
Background: Patient safety becomes a challenging discipline in educational institutions and healthcare organizations. With this growing recognition of the significance of patient safety, it is essential to assess nursing students’ attitude towards patient safety and factors influencing patient safety in order to reduce potential errors and promote quality of care.
Purpose: The main aim of this study was to assess the attitudes of undergraduate nursing students towards patient safety at the College of Nursing-Jeddah. Further, to identify the factors those influence their attitude towards patient safety.
Methods: Mixed methods research was conducted with a concurrent triangulation design. Attitude towards patient safety questionnaire was developed by the researchers and given to all undergraduate nursing students(N=300) who enrolled in the academic year 2017-2018 to collect quantitative data, while a qualitative investigation guided by in-depth interview using a developed guide was conducted with a purposive sampling of 14 undergraduate nursing students to identify the factors influencing nursing students’ attitude towards patient safety. Appropriate statistical analysis was applied while qualitative data were analyzed by content analysis approach.
Result: The present study concluded that Saudi nursing students manifested high and positive attitude level towards patient safety and indicated that their attitude not affected by the academic level or learning experience. Teaching patient safety issues, team functioning and patient involvement and perceived importance of patient safety scored as the highest dimensions of students’ attitude compared to the error disclosure and management dimensions which rated lower. Students’ attitude towards patient safety was influenced by many factors which extracted from qualitative data content analysis and identified as facilitators or barriers. These factors were thematically categorized as patient factors, staff factors and work environment factors with 25 subfactors under these three themes.
Conclusions & Recommendation: Nursing students are challenged by various factors that influence their attitude towards patient safety. Therefore, they should be supported by the provision of educational training about safe practice to enhance their safety attitude, knowledge and practice. Error reporting and disclosure culture should be a norm in nursing education and health care environment. Therefore, students should participate in the process of error analysis and management and should be provided with adequate clinical supervision. To maintain high levels of quality and safety in healthcare, all schools of nursing and faculties have to revise their curricula with more emphasis on theoretical and practical aspects of patient safety for bridging theory-practice gap. Furthermore, compliance to safety regulations and policies, blame-free environment for errors reporting, providing enough facilities and equipment, sufficient and efficient personnel by the hospital administrators are necessary so, students can practice in a safe environment and promote patient safety. In addition, this study encourages further research to achieve a more explicit understanding and comprehensive view of the factors that affect patient safety particularly from nurse educators’ perspective.