A model of empathic reflection based on the philosophy of Edith Stein: A discussion paper.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nurse Education in Practice, 2022, 63, pp. 1-6
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BACKGROUND: Empathy development is an integral aspect of nurse education in several countries. Empathy supports person-centred care provision by aiding effective communication and promoting feelings of wellbeing by helping people feel understood. AIM: The development of empathy in nursing students is best facilitated through experiential learning and reflective practice, although to date, there are no reflective models specifically designed for this purpose. It is the aim of this paper to present a model designed to promote reflection on the development of empathy. DESIGN: The authors have developed an approach to empathic reflection based on the philosophy of Edith Stein. METHODS: In this paper we outline the Empathic Reflection model which emphasises the need for educator support and an appreciative approach. We then present a narrative example of the model in action in an acute care setting. RESULTS: We have developed a three-stage model to support experiential learning about the development of empathy for nursing students. CONCLUSIONS: This discussion paper explores an interesting area for future nursing research about empathy development through experiential learning and reflective practice. Educators can contribute to the promotion of empathy by working in partnership with students to explore previously held beliefs which might act as barriers to empathic care provision.
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