L. Leitão Sarnadas

Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra (PORTUGAL)
This study aims to provide visibility to the student’s emotional experience during the provision of care in clinical teaching. The following objectives were set out: to identify emotions in the student/patient interaction; to identify the type of care generating greater emotional impact on students; and to understand how students manage their emotional impact of care provision.

This is a retrospective study comprising both a qualitative and a quantitative approach. The former, of exploratory nature, was used to collect information through learning narratives and thematic narratives. The latter was a quantitative approach using a questionnaire which included the Assessing Emotions Scale.

Of the thirty-one learning narratives analyzed using the Bardin’s content analysis, the following categories emerged: emotional difficulties, perceived feelings, emotions felt, and strategies to manage emotions.

The types of care which raised emotions were as follows: communication, end-of-life care, cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuvers, post-mortem care, and the implementation of procedures.

In a second stage of the study, we asked eight students to write a narrative to deepen the information that had been previously obtained in the learning narratives and to answer four guiding questions: Which emotions rose from the Provision of Care to Patients? What types of care raised more emotions? Which sensations were more striking in the provision of care?, and What strategies did you use to manage emotions?

The third stage of the study was descriptive and analytical, with the application of a questionnaire to 411 students who developed their clinical teaching in differentiated care. The questionnaire included socio-demographic variables and the Assessing Emotions Scale.
The 24 items of the Scale assessed the following indicators: Fear; Happiness; Anxiety; Guilt; Anger; Surprise and Sadness. Thus, the student was asked to identify the emotion that he/she had felt and to rate it between 1 and 10, taking into account practice related-aspects such as communication; dealing with death; post-mortem care; hygiene care; wound care; urinary and venous catheterization and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Communication and dealing with death were the most valued aspects by the students, thus showing the highest mean scores.
The students’ least valued aspects were cardiopulmonary resuscitation; post-mortem care; hygiene care; wound care; urinary catheterization; and, lastly, venous catheterization.

Happiness, fear and surprise were very present during the above-mentioned procedures. We believe that happiness was related to the student’s opportunity to enjoy this experience, associated with either fear of failure or the suffering that he/she might cause to the patient, and the surprise at the unpredictability of the procedure. Sadness arose only during the end of life and post-mortem care procedures.

After testing the formulated hypotheses, we found some differences in the mean results between male and female students’ emotions involving the provision of care and between students from different course years.