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Current teaching of psychology in undergraduate adult and comprehensive nursing curricula

Batterbee, R.A. (2019) Current teaching of psychology in undergraduate adult and comprehensive nursing curricula. British Journal of Nursing, 28 (13). pp. 848-856.

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The need for nurses to understand human behaviour in the context of effective caring has long been established; however, there is no consensus over the teaching and learning of psychology. Recent reported failures in compassionate care have prompted academics and clinicians to revisit this discussion and examine the challenges this poses to education. The author therefore recognises the need to take stock to see if we are any closer to answering the critical question of how to help students use psychology to understand themselves and the people they will be caring for. A literature review was conducted to examine current research and texts that address the teaching of psychology to undergraduate adult nursing students. The aim was to frame recent discussion in the context of current pre-registration education, rather than revisit the historic argument. Three common themes emerged from the review: the content of psychology taught; the methods of teaching psychology to nurses; and the application of psychological theory to nursing practice. These themes became the focus of further content analysis. A consensus is emerging from the traditionally opposed skills and theory camps that psychological literacy is essential to caring. Psychological content must not be diluted, neglected or eroded, and the essentials of this need to be defined and taught in a manner that is simple to understand and can be applied to real people. In undergraduate education, there is an increasing emphasis on structured reflection, which is used to forge links between student cognition, emotion and behaviour to reinforce theoretical psychological concepts. The similarities between models of reflection and cognitive behavioural psychological conceptualisation are a possible area for future investigation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: Mark Allen Publishing
Copyright: © 2019 MA Healthcare Ltd
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