Title : A conceptual framework for cultivating attentiveness in nursing
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.
Audience Take Away Notes:
1. The researcher will discuss the Theory of Presence, a theory which originates from the Netherlands and how it fits into mental healthcare nursing
2. How nurses attentiveness can influence/impact nursing care and patient’s experience of care
3. Factors which can make nurses to cultivate attentiveness
In the Presence Theory by Andries Baart, this theory relates to ‘being there with the other for the sake of being there’. Solving arising problems is not excluded but does not come first. However, to offer assiduous attention, to present as human as possible to the other and build a relationship in order to do what can be done. The audience will learn about presence is a professional humanity and that it takes place by way of being and followed by a way of doing
This research was first developed in the Netherlands by Professor A Baart who is a professor at the Catholic
Theological University in Utrecht and has expanded to social workers, healthcare professionals, educators and police officers
The results of this study could be of fundamental value to the professional practice of nurses as well as the quality of care received by patients. Little is understood about the concept of attentiveness in nursing care and how this can be cultivated. This concept may be undervalued as it does not involve intervention in contemporary healthcare and nursing care. However, by understanding that the essence of nursing is to care, and the core of care is attentiveness could highlight the significance of this concept in practice
The healthcare system with its various challenges, may well be impacted through understanding this attentiveness approach. Therefore, this research is relevant as attentiveness to patients has an ethics-of-care perspective. Being attentive to the dependence and interdependence of others could help nurses appreciate their needs for care, which is followed by a responsibility to respond to this need (Klaver, 2016:16). Nurses responding to a patient’s needs ultimately improves the delivery of care received by the patients. This shift in care delivery may indirectly be experienced when the patients feel attended to or with changes in morbidity. Incorporating this approach into contemporary healthcare could furthermore reduce nurse-related litigations, by delivering nursing care that is patient-centered. Another significant impact of the research is the contribution to scientific literature as there is a dearth of information and literature on this approach