How to Teach Nursing Students the Art of Caring

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Caring is an essential part of the nursing profession. However, not every nursing student grasps this art. Today, nursing programs are so focused on the technical and scientific aspects of the field that they sometimes ignore the human aspect. Nursing professors must teach their students the art of caring so they can become effective nurses.

Things You'll Need

  • journal (optional)
  • books (optional)
  • Care for your students. Humans learn through example. Show your students that you are concerned for them, and provide personal encouragement. When a person feels as though someone cares about him, he feels more confident. Confidence allows him to better relate to others.

  • Use team work to teach students empathy. If your pupils cannot treat each other nicely, they will certainly have problems relating to a patient. Group projects not only give students the opportunity to work together but also get to know each other better. By learning more about their counterparts, students will develop empathy. They will also learn how to cooperate, which is a necessity in the medical field.

  • Incorporate literature into the curriculum. Books can be effective educational tools, even if they are works of fiction. Choose a book which focuses on illness. After the students read it, hold a discussion about how the characters dealt with their medical issues. Ask your students what kind of care the characters received, and how they feel about their level of care. A good book for this exercise is "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom. It is the true story of the author’s experience with a loved one’s terminal illness.

  • Assign your students to write a journal during their clinical rotations. Their entries should reflect their interactions with patients. Students should review their entries and analyze which experiences were positive, which were negative and why. Entries could be read in class, so that other students can learn and improve.

References

  • Photo Credit nurse chris image by John Keith from Fotolia.com
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