Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Newham, R,Terry, L,Atherley, S,Hahessy, S,Babenko-Mould, Y,Evans, M,Ferguson, K,Carr, G,Cedar, SH
Nursing Ethics
A moral profession: Nurse educators' selected narratives of care and compassion
Optional Fields
Caring compassion moral practice moral vision non-abandonment VIRTUE
Background: Lack of compassion is claimed to result in poor and sometimes harmful nursing care. Developing strategies to encourage compassionate caring behaviours are important because there is evidence to suggest a connection between having a moral orientation such as compassion and resulting caring behaviour in practice. Objective: This study aimed to articulate a clearer understanding of compassionate caring via nurse educators' selection and use of published texts and film. Methodology: This study employed discourse analysis. Participants and research context: A total of 41 nurse educators working in universities in the United Kingdom (n = 3), Ireland (n = 1) and Canada (n = 1) completed questionnaires on the narratives that shaped their understanding of care and compassion. Findings: The desire to understand others and how to care compassionately characterised educators' choices. Most narratives were examples of kindness and compassion. A total of 17 emphasised the importance of connecting with others as a central component of compassionate caring, 10 identified the burden of caring, 24 identified themes of abandonment and of failure to see the suffering person and 15 narratives showed a discourse of only showing compassion to those 'deserving' often understood as the suffering person doing enough to help themselves. Discussion: These findings are mostly consistent with work in moral philosophy emphasising the particular or context and perception or vision as well as the necessity of emotions. The narratives themselves are used by nurse educators to help explicate examples of caring and compassion (or its lack). Conclusion: To feel cared about people need to feel 'visible' as though they matter. Nurses need to be alert to problems that may arise if their 'moral vision' is influenced by ideas of desert and how much the patient is doing to help himself or herself.
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