Integrating the Arts and Humanities into Nursing

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An important part of nursing practice is caring for and understanding patients’ psychological and existential issues. Within this perspective, understanding human existence cannot be accomplished merely by using theoretical knowledge, which in turn may instead prevent us from seeing and recognizing important existential aspects.

This article argues that narrative competence is conductive to sensitivity in relation to understanding human existence. Our lives are understandable through the stories that we tell about it and through how those stories are told. Narrative competences offer and develop a more flexible imagination of multiple understandings, providing insight into human nature through the depiction of real or imagined experiences. It fosters introspection and the development of self-awareness.

Within this context it is argued that the arts and humanities hold important elements in the preparation of an educated health care professional who is capable of addressing the complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty of our world, which is characterized by change and unique individuals.

It is concluded that the arguments and answers to how art can inform narrative competence and be integrated into nursing are complex and cannot be all-inclusive or complete; rather, they introduce a variety of ways in which nurses can understand human existence. Moreover, although the arts and humanities may not teach nurses to care, they can foster behaviours and a genuine sensitivity to the uniqueness of others.
TidsskriftNursing Philosophy
Antal sider4
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2021

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