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Nurse Educ Today. 2010 Nov;30(8):752-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2010.01.018. Epub 2010 Apr 8.

Empathy and nurse education.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK. julia.williams@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

It is widely accepted that the ability of nurses to empathise with their patients is a desirable quality. There is however little discussion of the implications of this for nurse educators. This article reviews the nursing and counselling literature related to empathy. We begin with an exploration of different perspectives of empathy; from its behavioural and measurable characteristics to its less tangible, intuitive qualities. By drawing upon both policy and research, it is clear that patients want empathic and emotionally competent nurses. Nurse educators therefore have a responsibility to provide an education that engenders empathic understanding. We explore the implications of these findings for nurse education, identifying key areas for consideration in the preparation of emotionally skilled, empathic student nurses.

PMID:
20381220
DOI:
10.1016/j.nedt.2010.01.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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