Little people, big lessons: An innovative strategy to develop interpersonal skills in undergraduate nursing students

Reid-Searl, Kerry and McAllister, Margaret and Dwyer, Trudy and Krebs, Katrina Lane and Anderson, Carina ORCID: and Quinney, Loretta and McLellan, Sandy (2014) Little people, big lessons: An innovative strategy to develop interpersonal skills in undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Education Today, 34 (9). pp. 1201-1206. ISSN 0260-6917


Learning the skills of child health nursing requires more than technical skill development. Humanistic attributes such as being genuine, accepting and empathic are imperative in gaining the trust of a child and in helping them feel comforted and safe in a health care setting. Interpersonal theory has a long history in nursing and numerous contemporary theories have drawn on the seminal work of Peplau to advance nursing practice. However, rarely has this theory been applied to simulation learning. This paper reports on an innovative simulation technique that blends interpersonal theory with puppets. Qualitative evaluation using focus group method with fifteen undergraduate nursing students revealed that the pedagogy had a positive impact on characteristics of the learner, the learning process and on interpersonal communication skills development. The study deepened insights about the educative process and led to learning impacts that suggest that puppet-based learning is a powerful medium to bridge theory and practice, bringing the importance of interpersonal theory to life for students.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2022 03:43
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2022 05:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: Child; Compassion; Interpersonal nursing; Peplau; Pup-Ed (KRS simulation); Puppet; Solution focused nursing
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2099 Other health > 209999 Other health not elsewhere classified
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