Understanding compassion by using poems as qualitative data
Since the development of this website we have received hundreds of your poems exploring important issues in nursing practice. Issues such as communication, caring, compassion and empathy have been explored, using this creative approach. You have also contributed poems about the meaning of nursing, your hopes and fears, based on past and current experiences.
Compassion is an important concept in nursing practice and has gained a lot of attention over recent years. However, its meaning can be confusing and the ways in which we show compassion can be open to discussion. With this in mind, I was delighted to lead on the development of an article, using our students’ poems, as a way to explore the meaning of compassionate care provision.
Earlier this month, Using Poems to Explore the Meaning of Compassion to Undergraduate Nursing Students was published in the International Practice Development Journal, an online publication published by the Foundation of Nursing Studies.
This article explores the multiple meanings of compassion as experienced by our students. Compassion was described as a meaningful but often difficult concept. Students often worry that their lack of knowledge and experience can lead to loss of compassion. Some students described compassionate care provision as a very practical process, one which takes into account ‘the small things’ which although might seem small to us, are often so meaningful to service users.
In whatever way we view compassion, it is clear that using poetry supports exploration of this concept. Our students have written some very moving and meaningful poems in this article and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing it.
Dr Kirsten Jack, Senior Lecturer Adult Nursing
Dr Josie Tetley, Professor of Nursing
Thursday 19th May 2016