Phenomenology and Hermeneutics as a basis for Sensitivity within Healthcare

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An educated healthcare professional or student is sensitive and able to make good judgements, understanding existential challenging issues. It is argued that the ideas within phenomenology and hermeneutics can function as a basis for comprehension. This article focuses on how choice of perspective
and knowledge are of importance to what we do in practice. However, education does not consist of mere accumulation of knowledge and ways of explanation. We do not become competent practitioners by being able to reproduce philosophical ideas. These are merely perspectives by means of which we can seek to go
beyond what we take for granted, or what we assume to know, thus enabling us to take a new direction understanding problems and issues that until now may have been hidden to us. In other words, understanding is of an existential character whereas an observing healthcare professional must be aware and open to the mental aspects of life. It is therefore important to attune ourselves to being sensitive to and aware of experiences from our lifeworld, understanding what they imply. It is argued that literature provides insight into human nature through the written depiction of real or imagined experiences. To develop such narrative imagination, it is suggested that literature should be part of the curriculum of various educations. This is relevant to healthcare professionals who thereby can get an important insight into human nature and begin to develop the self-awareness and sensitivity to others that is so central to care.
TidsskriftNursing Philosophy
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2021


  • Phenomenology and Hermeneutics, Existential aspects, Sensitivity, Knowledge, Literature, Care

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