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How does it really feel to be in my shoes? Patients' experiences of compassion within nursing care and their perceptions of developing compassionate nurses

Bramley, Louise; Matiti, Milika

Authors

Louise Bramley

Milika Matiti



Abstract

Aims and objectives
To understand how patients experience compassion within nursing care and explore their perceptions of developing compassionate nurses.

Background
Compassion is a fundamental part of nursing care. Individually, nurses have a duty of care to show compassion; an absence can lead to patients feeling devalued and lacking in emotional support. Despite recent media attention, primary research around patients' experiences and perceptions of compassion in practice and its development in nursing care remains in short supply.

Design
A qualitative exploratory descriptive approach.

Methods
In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 10 patients in a large teaching hospital in the United Kingdom. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic networks were used in analysis.

Results
Three overarching themes emerged from the data: (1) what is compassion: knowing me and giving me your time, (2) understanding the impact of compassion: how it feels in my shoes and (3) being more compassionate: communication and the essence of nursing.

Conclusion
Compassion from nursing staff is broadly aligned with actions of care, which can often take time. However, for some, this element of time needs only be fleeting to establish a compassionate connection. Despite recent calls for the increased focus compassion at all levels in nurse education and training, patient opinion was divided on whether it can be taught or remains a moral virtue. Gaining understanding of the impact of uncompassionate actions presents an opportunity to change both individual and cultural behaviours.

Relevance to clinical practice
It comes as a timely reminder that the smallest of nursing actions can convey compassion. Introducing vignettes of real-life situations from the lens of the patient to engage practitioners in collaborative learning in the context of compassionate nursing could offer opportunities for valuable and legitimate professional development.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2014-10
Journal Journal of Clinical Nursing
Print ISSN 0962-1067
Electronic ISSN 0962-1067
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 19-20
Article Number 10
Pages 2790-2799
APA6 Citation Bramley, L., & Matiti, M. (2014). How does it really feel to be in my shoes? Patients' experiences of compassion within nursing care and their perceptions of developing compassionate nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23(19-20), 2790-2799. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.12537
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.12537
Keywords Compassion, Empathy, Interviews, Nursing care, Patients’ experience, Patients’ perceptions
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocn.12537/abstract
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0





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