The risk of entering relationships: experiences from a Norwegian hospital

Journal Article or Monograph

Title: The risk of entering relationships: experiences from a Norwegian hospital
Year: 2011
Authors: Ramvi, E.

This article analyses how nursing students being trained in a Norwegian hospital interact and communicate with their patients - a task that seems to be one of the hardest of all for the students. Based on data from a fieldwork study, the article investigates the development of empathy among student nurses. In doing so, it addresses the concept of a social defence system developed by Isabel Menzies Lyth, who referred to a hypothetical construction describing certain features of a nursing hospital such as a high level of tension, distress and anxiety among the nurses. The findings point to the fact that the nursing students were constantly in danger of losing their focus on the relational aspect of their work; instead, they were being drawn towards an instrumental nursing style. This took place despite the conviction that "creating a relationship" was one of the most important dimensions of being a competent nurse.

Keywords: learning from experience; empathy; nurses; student nurses; social defence
Language: English

Journal: Journal of Social Work Practice
Volume: 25
Issue: 3
Start page: 285
End page: 296
ISSN: 0265-0533
Publisher ID:

Submitted by:
Ellen Ramvi

Corresponding author:

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