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The Health Humanities in Nursing Education 

The Health Humanities in Nursing Education
The Health Humanities in Nursing Education

Jamie Shirley

, and Sarah Shannon

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date: 07 May 2021

Nursing students generally come into entry-level nursing education with a well-developed understanding of emotion as a viable moral resource for responding to the world and to clinical situations. The health humanities can create a space for nursing students to explore not only the range of human emotions they will encounter when faced with the intimacy of health and illness but also their own judgments. Health humanities education can also deepen their critical analysis skills to develop a balanced voice that allows them to fully contribute to all aspects of their patients’ care and to the development of a just and equitable healthcare system. This chapter focuses particularly on strategies to build the skills of critical reading and to broaden students’ moral imagination. Undergraduate nurses benefit from building skills in critical reading—and particularly narrative analysis. While students may be well attuned to what they feel, they can gain insight into why they feel that way—and how the elements of a narrative construct those emotions through close reading and careful analysis. A second goal is to help them expand and develop complexity in their moral imagination as a resource for judgment. Giving students tools to help them slow down and listen well can facilitate their understanding of the positions of others—which in turn can assist them to develop robust positions of their own. Specific classroom strategies for both of these skills are presented.

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