Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2016 , Vol 19, Issue 4
Karadeniz Technical University, Department of Nursing, TRABZON Introduction: Ageism is an ideology and process that can evolve into a discrimination against the elderly because of their old age, similar to the prejudices and stereotypes inherent in racism and sexism. Ageism can be observed in health care and can affect the quality of care provided to the elderly. This descriptive study aimed to determine surgical nurses' attitudes towards the elderly.

Materials and Method: The study was conducted with 337 nurses who worked at surgery clinics in hospitals located in Trabzon, Turkey. The data were gathered using the Ageism Attitude Scale and a Personal Information Form.

Results: The mean Ageism Attitude Scale score and mean subscale scores of surgical nurses were high indicating that their attitudes towards aged were generally positive. Statistically significant differences were observed between mean total Ageism Attitude Scale scores in terms of surgical nurses' educational status and their choice to work with the elderly at the clinics. Nearly one-fourth of the nurses stated that they experienced communication problems when interacting with the elderly.

Conclusion: It is necessary to identify hindrances to effective communication and develop ways to improve communication skills. Furthermore, subjects related to ageing need to be incorporated into the current nursing education curriculum. Keywords : Ageism; Aging; Attitude; Aged; Nurses