HomeRecoletos Multidisciplinary Research Journalvol. 2 no. 2 (2014)

Can Compassion Be Taught? (A Substantive Theory on Imparting Compassion to Nursing Students)

Agnes Marie Austero | Daisy Palompon

Discipline: Social Science



Compassion is essential to nursing practice. This study attempted to generate a substantive theory on how compassion can be taught to nursing students. Key informants were selected based on the criterion that they are nurse educators. The key informants who participated in the study were mostly holder of a master’s degree in nursing and a teaching experience of at least 5 years. A Key Informant Interview (KII) was utilized using interview guide in obtaining the data needed for the study. Thematic content analysis was used to analyze and organize the data. The themes identified were: (1) compassion is relating with people, (2) role modeling is a common teaching strategy. Other themes formulated were: (3) teaching compassion is facilitated by actual nurse / student-nurse -patient interaction, (4) influence of compassion is from people outside the nursing field, and (5) student attitude affects the inculcation of compassion. Teaching compassion in nursing school is influenced by nurse educators’ concept of compassion and students’ attitudes. It often occurs in the clinical area with an actual patient. The training of nursing students to become compassionate needs actual patient interaction. In order to facilitate teaching, nurse educators must reflect their own concept of compassion and for students to show willingness and openness to embrace it as valuable in nursing practice.