RESEARCH PAPER
Personality predictors of surgical specialties choice among students of nursing
 
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1
Department of Educational Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
2
Department of Clinical Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
3
Chair of Development of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
4
Chair of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
Submission date: 2016-09-30
Final revision date: 2016-12-13
Acceptance date: 2017-01-21
Online publication date: 2017-01-27
Publication date: 2017-04-01
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2017;5(2):123–131
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background
Holland’s theory of congruence, according to which one’s career choice is an expression of personality traits common to a given profession, constitutes a theoretical background for this research. The construct of the Distinct Surgical Personality (DSP) is an exemplification of the idea of a congruent match between one’s personality and the requirements of the medical environment. In previous studies the authors revised their proposition concerning the DSP concept to include not only personality traits but also preferred values. This paper aims at verifying the proposition that this concept may also refer to students of nursing who select surgical specialties.

Participants and procedure
The study involved 163 students of nursing at the Medical University of Lublin aged 21-29 (M = 23.19, SD = 3.67). Students who opted for surgical specialities constituted the criterion group (N = 98). The study employed the Polish versions of the Personality Inventory NEO-FFI and the Schwartz Value Survey.
Results
There are two significant predictors of surgical specialties choice in nursing: a higher-level value of openness to change and extraversion. The tested model, which incorporates personality traits and preferred values, has proved congruent with the data, and allows for the proper classification of 79% of students who declared surgical specialties.

Conclusions
The results suggest the existence of a specific personality of surgical nurses. While clear adaptability to the specific environment has been determined, there are differences with respect to the concept of DSP, referring to doctors, widely discussed in the literature. In both cases these constructs look different, and are dependent on various types of professional activities within the therapeutic team.
 
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