International Health Humanities Network Impact Reports and Narrative

A narrative exploration of the relationship between reading literature and poetry and ethical practice: narratives of student nurses and nurse educators

Short Description

Professional health care education in ethics often centres upon considering perceived ethical problems or dilemmas in clinical practice utilising external and deductive tools such as ethical principles (autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, justice), ethical guidelines and codes of professional conduct. Engagement with the arts and humanities offers a different perspective centring on a teleological ethic characterised by attention to ends (e.g. human flourishing), cultivation of virtue, the telling of narrative, recognising relationality and acknowledging contextual factors.

Full Impact Narrative

Professional health care education in ethics often centres upon considering perceived 'ethical problems or dilemmas in clinical practice utilising external and deductive tools such as ethical principles (autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, justice), ethical guidelines and codes of professional conduct. Engagement with the arts and humanities offers a different perspective centring on a teleological ethic characterised by attention to ends (e.g. human flourishing), cultivation of virtue, the telling of narrative, recognising relationality and acknowledging contextual factors. In this study, student nurses drawn from a third-year arts and humanities nursing degree module contributed narratives exploring the relationship between reading literature and poetry and ethical practice. These narratives are characterised by reflexivity, critical thinking and concern for others. Narratives of nurse educators support these insights by showing the significance of strategic positioning of the arts and humanities within the curriculum.

Impact into professional health care education

This study demonstrates the significant contribution of the arts and humanities to ethics education within professional health care programmes. In wider terms, student engagement with the arts and humanities, by promoting inter-disciplinary and inter-professional dimensions, can contribute to developing critical perspectives on professional health care practice itself. Furthermore, strategic inclusion of the arts and humanities within the curriculum can contribute to a more liberal education necessary for professional practice in rapidly changing and unpredictable contexts of health and social care.

Contact Information

Dr. Andrew McKie
a.mckie@rgu.ac.uk

Humanities Subjects

Health Care Areas

Keywords

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  • The  institue of mental health nottingham
  • National Institute of Health
  • Centre for Advanced Studies
  • The University of Nottingham United Kingdom China Malaysia
  • De Montfort University Leicester
  • OPPNET Basic Behaviour & Social Science Opportunity Network