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Empowering counseling--a case study: nurse-patient encounter in a hospital.

by T Kettunen, M Poskiparta, L Liimatainen
Health education research ()

Abstract

This study illustrates practices that a nurse uses in order to empower patients. The emphasis is on speech formulae that encourage patients to discuss their concerns and to solicit information about impending surgery. The study is a part of a larger research project and a single case was selected for presentation in this article because it differed from the rest of the data by manifesting empowering practice. A videotaped nurse-patient health counseling session was conducted in a hospital and transcribed verbatim. The investigator interviewed the nurse and the patient after the conversation, and these interviews were transcribed as well. The encounter that is presented here as a case study is a concrete example of a counseling session during which the patient is free to discuss with the nurse. The empowering practices that the nurse employed were as follows: encouraging the patient to speak out, tactfully sounding out the patient's concerns and knowledge of impending surgery, listening to feedback, and building a positive vision of the future for the patient. We suggest that nurses should pay attention to verbal expression and forms of language. This enables them to gain self-awareness and discover new tools to work with.

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