Practice theory for teaching-learning of spiritual care in the undergraduate nursing programme at a higher education institution in the Western Cape
Linda, Ntombizodwa Sarah Beauty
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Literature attest that holistic approach to care is the best way to ensure that all human needs, including spiritual needs are taken care of. As such holistic approach to care accepts the notion of "wholeness" nature of the patient. However, in practice patient's holistic needs, which are essential for optimum health, are not routinely addressed when practicing nursing. This implies that regardless of the nurses doing their best to attend to patient's health needs, patients still do not achieve their required optimum health. Furthermore, in the face of good nursing education programmes, attempts to meet the patient's care needs as advocated, a gap still exists in rendering nursing services that truly promote health in a holistic manner. Confusion regarding the scope and holistic nature of nursing, relates not only to nursing organisations having failed to define nursing with clarity concerning the spiritual dimension of care; but they have also not succeeded in implementing nursing that is truly holistic. In this study, it is argued that where spiritual care aspects in nursing remain at the periphery, holistic nursing cannot be truly attained. According to Burkhardt and Hogan promoting one's spirituality within a nursing paradigm can be one way to promote and optimise health, particularly in response to illness. In view of the existing gap between teaching-learning of spiritual care and espoused theory of holistic nursing, a need to develop a theory that would guide and assist nurse educators and nursing students in the teaching and learning of spiritual care was imperative. The aim of this research was to generate a practice theory for teaching-learning of spiritual care in the undergraduate nursing programme at a higher education institution by answeringthe research question "how can a practice theory for teaching-learning of spiritual care in the undergraduate nursing programme at a higher education institution in the Western Cape be generated? Ethical procedures were applied in accordance to stipulations of the University Research Ethics Committee. The credibility of the study was ensured by application of Guba's model of trustworthiness for qualitative data.