Instructional strategies for Necrophobia among student nurses in Zimbabwe

Mbasera Senzeni Constance, Chinamasa Emmanuel


The study investigated factors influencing the formation of necrophobia among student nurses in Zimbabwe. A purposive sample of seventy student nurses and forty-one qualified nurses and nurse tutors participated in the study. Data were collected using questionnaires, observation guide and documentary analysis. Researchers also analysed students’ notes on last processes and tutors’ schemes on shrouding to get an in depth understanding of how they approached a sensitive topic like shrouding. Practical lessons on shrouding were observed to see the tutors’ and student nurses’ reactions to the deceased. The study found that: lack of exposure to the hospital environment, cultural beliefs, gender and age were the major factors contributing to the development of necrophobia. The findings of the study are that fear of shrouding is more common in female than their male students. The study recommends an incremental model to teaching the last processes. Student nurses can start by discussions of stories about the dead. They can read literature on shrouding and make class presentations. They can visit intensive care units to familiarize themselves with the seriously ill. They can participate by conveying copses from wards to the mortuary. Theory lessons on the last processes can be held. They can observe qualified nurses carrying out the last processes before practical lessons on last processes. The study recommends further studies on necrophobia on another group of people who handle dead bodies like the police and soldiers.

Key Words: Nurse Instruction, Necrophobia, Student Nurses

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