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Title: The therapeutic relationship in the context of providing essential nursing care : an exploration of understanding and growth in undergraduate student nurses : adult nursing - a case study
Author: Rice, Ann Marie
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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The study aimed to explore the understanding and growth of the therapeutic relationship in undergraduate student nurses and the factors that influenced its development. A single case holistic research design was utilised in which the "case" constituted the cohort of students (n=17), and the unit of analysis was the students development over time (Yin, 2009, p. 51). A purposive sampling strategy was adopted and data were collected utilising group interviews at two time intervals, which addressed research question one, and self report vignettes over three time points, which addressed research question two. The key findings of the study suggested that student nurses had an understanding of the therapeutic relationship from an early stage, and this developed over time. Students recognised key components of the relationship such as trust and good communication. Students identified barriers and facilitators to the therapeutic relationship such as pre-conceived beliefs about patients and nurses' behaviours. An incremental approach to communications skills teaching gave the students a base from which they could further develop their skills, and enabled them to recognise poor practice. Developing confidence and competence was gained from positive interactions with patients, feedback from mentors and observing good practice. Students engaged in reflective practice but found this most helpful with peers. Portfolios were mainly used as a means of documenting learning related to practical nursing skills. Students demonstrated growth in both empathy and respect over time and were able to identify their own feelings. However, students reported feelings of anxiety and guilt if they perceived these feelings to be inappropriate. The small sample size limits the generalisability of the findings, as does the self report nature of the data collection methods. Nevertheless, some recommendations for practice were identified and include facilitated structured reflection, an incremental approach to communications skills education and raising the awareness of mentors and other clinical staff regarding the influence their practice has on undergraduate student nurses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available