Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Effective communication is an essential practice for nurses and is fundamental for the care of patients. Nurses have significant difficulties communicating with patients with complex communication needs (CCN), which can lead to communication breakdowns and sentinel events. While AAC is a viable option for communicating with patients with CCN, nurses do not receive any training on how to effectively communicate or use AAC with patients with CCN. Nursing students are in the ideal position for learning how to use AAC and communicate with AAC, as they are in the process of learning and entering the field for medical placements. This quasi- experimental investigation determined the effectiveness of an AAC educational training program for undergraduate nursing students. One group of participants completed an AAC knowledge test two different times over the course of the investigation. The test was administered before and after AAC education and training. Results showed a significant difference in AAC knowledge after completion of the educational training module. These findings add to the literature regarding the need for AAC education and training for undergraduate nursing students and the effectiveness of the completion of training.

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Author's Keywords

AAC, Speech-Language Pathology, Nursing, Nursing Students, AAC Training, Acute Care

Degree Awarded

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Thesis Advisor

Stephanie Schaaf

Committee Member

J. Nikki Gaylord

Committee Member

Carolyn Tinsley

Document Type