Collaborative research on Teaching Age and Discrimination in Mental Health Nursing
Two mental health nursing lecturers and three mental health student nurses at the University of Salford have been working as co-researchers on a project to investigate the extent to which a teaching session about age and discrimination contributes to changing attitudes to working with people of different ages.
The teaching session is designed to promote enhanced learning by asking students to reflect on their perceptions of a young, mid-age or older person, and to revisit these perceptions following the activity. Student co-researchers have all undertaken the session themselves, drawing on this experience to conduct qualitative interviews with participants. The resulting participant narratives enhance the research base of student education and can be used as a tool for all students to reflect on their attitudes and perceptions and how those might affect their future practice.
Student co-researchers also gain practical experience of planning, conducting and disseminating research, and benefit from the learning that comes from research supervision and training. There is evidence that is has also positively affected self-esteem, critical thinking and analysis skills because “…trying to understand people is complex and many layered, just like nursing” (comment from student co-researcher).
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