Background: There is a dearth of literature on attentiveness and its cultivation, although it is significant to care and ethics of care. An attentiveness approach in healthcare, more over South African healthcare may “reconstruct and revitalise the nursing profession for a long and healthy life for all” because it disapproves nurses’ detachment and allows an optimal connection with patients. Attentiveness in care is centred in the theory of presence (Baart, 2001), and is the core element in care which can be understood as a necessary way of acting or being in order to know (or to help) other people.
Purpose and method: This research forms part of a larger three phase study each phase with a concomitant methodology and objective. In this first phase the objective is to generate a substantive theory on attentiveness following the grounded theory approach. The theory generation is centred around the cultivation of attentiveness through the practice of mindfulness by nurses working in a psychotherapy unit of a psychiatric hospital
Results: The results in phase one yielded three categories, namely mindfulness practises, outcomes of practicing mindfulness and foundations for cultivating attentiveness through practising mindfulness. These categories are interconnected, share overlapping ideas whereby the previous one speaks to the subsequent.
Conclusion: Mindfulness practices has enabled nurses to develop a greater self-awareness and uncovered innate compassionate attitudes towards patients. Mindfulness practices has also been associated with the ability to manage resurfacing trauma the nurse may have been experienced in their past. This further enabled nurses to pay attention, be present in the moment and non-judgementally.