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Learning to deliver compassionate care: The role of peer support for practice learning

Berragan, Elizabeth; Williams, Joanne; Carter, Christine

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Elizabeth Berragan

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Jo Williams
Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing

Christine Carter


Following publication of the Willis Report (2012) and the Francis Report (2010, 2013), there is an increasing focus upon how compassionate care is addressed in undergraduate nursing programmes (Cornwell et al., 2013). This poster presentation illustrates an educational initiative involving peer support and nurse educator facilitation as one way of enabling students on undergraduate nursing programmes to consider their understanding and experiences of delivering compassionate care to service users.
Peer support in nursing has been taking place informally for a long time with the “tea break/tear break‟ described by Butterworth (1998) as an example, helping student nurses not only with emotional release but also serving as a feedback mechanism. Whilst it cannot be claimed that this is a new approach to support, many staff peer support mechanisms have died out in the past due to lack of structure, ideas, facilitation, group skills, leadership or motivation (Bond & Holland 1998). The need to learn from mistakes of the past building up stronger structures for such support mechanisms is perhaps more important than ever given the findings of the Francis report (2010, 2013). The introduction of peer support at the beginning of a nurse’s career embeds this approach as an instinctive and accepted learning activity. As students begin to recognise the contradictions between learning in university and healthcare settings, peer learning and support offers a means of establishing personal and professional approaches for the delivery of person centred compassionate care.
Exploring the context and background of compassionate care, the presentation offers a theoretical perspective of practice learning and, in doing so, attempts to articulate the learning that takes place as students consider their understanding of compassionate care.


Berragan, E., Williams, J., & Carter, C. (2014, June). Learning to deliver compassionate care: The role of peer support for practice learning. Poster presented at NETNEP 2014, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands

Presentation Conference Type Poster
Conference Name NETNEP 2014
Conference Location Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
Start Date Jun 22, 2014
End Date Jun 25, 2014
Publication Date Jun 1, 2014
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2019
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords compassionate care, practice learning, student peer support
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : NETNEP 2014


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