Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/153831
Title: UNDERGRADUATE NURSING STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION OF EMPATHY TOWARDS PATIENTS : A QUALITATIVE STUDY
Authors: CHAN QING XIA, MELISSA
Keywords: undergraduate nursing students
empathy
patients
nursing education
clinicals
Issue Date: 25-May-2019
Citation: CHAN QING XIA, MELISSA (2019-05-25). UNDERGRADUATE NURSING STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION OF EMPATHY TOWARDS PATIENTS : A QUALITATIVE STUDY. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: Empathy has been increasingly recognized to play a vital role in establishing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship with patients. It encourages patients to disclose personal health struggles, allowing nurses to become better advocates and improves patients’ health outcomes. However, majority of undergraduate nursing students (UNS) struggle to engage patients empathetically despite having undergone the nursing curricula which should have instilled empathy in them. Aim: To explore undergraduate nursing students (UNS)’ perception and learning of empathy towards patients. Design: Descriptive qualitative design was adopted. Methods: 20 Year 4, non-direct intake UNS were recruited using purposive sampling. Semistructured, individual, face-to-face interviews were conducted and audio-recorded. Transcribed verbatim done and analysed using thematic analysis approach. Findings: Five themes were presented: “Textbook Definitions of Empathy”, “Heart of Empathy, Translated into Practice”, “The Laying Foundations of Empathy”, “Potential Building Blocks of Empathy” and “Constraints to Empathy Development”. UNS presented perceived definitions of empathy although some had misconceptions with sympathy. Perceived expressions of empathy were mentioned, anchoring primarily on the significance of effective communication. Students learnt to empathise based on their upbringing and influence of social interaction, while some perceived it as innate. Facilitators to learning empathy include patient and family interaction, looking up to role models in nursing, didactic teachings and use of simulations. Barriers included negative ward environment and attitudes. Conclusion: The study presented UNS’ varied perceptions of empathy and highlighted the various areas in nursing curriculum and within clinical settings that have facilitated or hindered their learning of empathy towards patients. Implication: Findings reveal the need for a shift in pedagogy from didactic teachings to experiential learning (EL) in facilitating the learning of empathy. A longitudinal mentorship vii program can be considered. Researchers can continue to evaluate the effectiveness of EPA considering that it is a new nursing approach.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/153831
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