Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the experience and perception of sexual harassment during the clinical practice of Korean nursing students. Methods: The descriptive study was conducted using a self-report questionnaire from December 2009 to January 2010. Participants were 542 nursing students recruited from 12 nursing colleges in Korea, who had finished 1,000 hours of clinical practice which is the minimum requirement for graduation. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics. Results: Ninety-seven participants (17.9%) reported that they experienced sexual harassment during clinical practice and 36 participants (6.7%) answered whether it was a sexual harassment or not. When sexual harassment was asked by the specific 18 items in the sexual harassment checklist, 52.0% (n = 282) of participants reported that they experienced at least 1 item among 18 items of sexual harassment. Sexual harassments were frequently made by the persons in their 40s (41.2%), men (97.9%) and patients (96.9%) and in the psychiatric wards (67.0%). Many respondents recognized that sexual harassment during clinical practice was caused by abnormal sexual desire of a pervert (34.5%) or men's sexual impulse (26.2%). Also, sexual harassment was perceived as a serious problem (19.4%) and education was necessary for prevention (88.3%). Conclusion: Education program is needed to prevent sexual harassment and enhance the gender sensitivity of nursing students, who are in the high-risk group of sexual harassment during clinical practice. This will in turn contribute to a safe educational environment for clinical practice.
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