ERIC Number: ED189999
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
A Comparative Study of Perceptions of Sophomore Nursing Students, Senior Nursing Students, Nursing Faculty, and Clients as to the Importance of Empathy as an Attribute of the "Ideal" Nurse.
Gunden, Elizabeth A.
There has been considerable interest in incorporating the socialization process--including empathy as a nurse characteristic--into the nursing curriculum. On the other hand, some clients have indicated that they do not see empathy as an important nursing skill. A study was undertaken to assess how sophomores, seniors, and faculty in nursing programs view empathy as an attribute of the "ideal" nurse, and how these views and those of clients compare. Baccalaureate nursing students and faculty in one college were surveyed, and 20 clients were selected by a physician from a single facility. Overall, senior student views were congruent with those of faculty members on the group of attributes. Senior perceptions were, however, different than those of sophomores, lending credence to the idea that education has a powerful socializing influence in the transmission of professional goals and values. Sophomores perceived empathy as significantly more important than did seniors, and faculty perceived it as being less important than did sophomores or seniors. The most differences were noted in a comparison of seniors' and clients' perceptions; clients perceived pleasing personality traits as more important than empathy. The sophomore and client perceptions were closest, and it is concluded that they are most influenced by prevailing stereotypes of the nurse. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Professional Behavior