Responding to the emotional challenges of nursing work - the potential for reflective practices to contribute to the humanisation of healthcare.

This source preferred by Karen Rees

Authors: Rees, K.

Start date: 6 September 2010

Responding to the emotional challenges of nursing work – the potential for reflective practices to contribute to the humanisation of healthcare

Drawing on the findings of a phenomenological study which sought to understand something more about the lived experience of final year nursing students of learning through reflective processes, this paper seeks to consider how engagement with reflective practices enabled the participants to manage the emotional challenges and labour of nursing work. Choosing to pay attention to the affective domain appeared to enable the participants to better understand the complex nature of the emotional challenges of nursing work and what it meant to them personally to be a nurse. Some of the participants were proud to describe how reflective activity had enabled them to develop and justify a ‘traditional’ emotional detachment from their care, whilst others used the ‘own knowing’ developed through reflective activity to reject the notion of professional detachment and come to value a more embodied sense of care which inevitably led them to become entangled in the distress and suffering of their patients. This type of personal reflective learning may emphasise and value more humanising characteristics of care (Todres et al 2009).

Todres, L; Galvin, K. and Holloway, I. 2009. The humanisation of healthcare: A value framework for qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. 4, 68-77

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