The purpose of this study was to evaluate nursing students' knowledge of the nurse's role in the interprofessional management of dysphagia.
A quasi-experimental, pretest–posttest educational intervention was used in this study.
Thirty-eight pretest and 37 posttest undergraduate nursing students participated. An addendum to the original study assessed knowledge retention in a separate group of nursing students who had received a similar educational intervention 1.5 years prior.
Statistically significant changes were found between pretests and posttests. The knowledge retention group performed more poorly in some areas, suggesting that initial instruction was not reinforced beyond the novice level.
Educating nursing students about the nurse's role in the management of dysphagia will increase their knowledge, but this knowledge must be reinforced for integration into clinical practice. More research is needed to determine what education nursing students receive on dysphagia and what the role of the nurse is in the management of dysphagia.
Dysphagia negatively impacts clinical and rehabilitation outcomes. Because nurses may lack sufficient training in the management of dysphagia, healthcare organizations should offer such training to new hires and then periodically thereafter. Likewise, practicing nurses who serve as preceptors should be prepared to train nursing students and new nurses how to safely manage dysphagia.