Cand.polit. Eva Elisabeth Hessevaagbakke
Title of dissertation:
The characteristics of nurses’ pedagogical competence.
The dissertation is written within the field of pedagogy and nursing, and has as its point of departure patients’ need for learning and coping when facing challenges in relation to health and illness. Nurses have a central role in this context. The dissertation addresses the following question: What are the characteristics of nurses’ pedagogical competence? The associated research questions are: How do pedagogical situations/types of situations appear? How is nurses’ pedagogical competence expressed in two nursing arenas?
The study has an ethnographic design using participant observation, interviews and logs (the nurses’ written texts). The arenas are home nursing care (municipal health services) and a somatic clinic/ward in hospital (specialist health services). Harald Grimen’s (2008) perspectives on professional knowledge and use of judgement have in particular contributed to the analysis that yielded the dissertation’s central findings: The nurses’ pedagogical competence appears as a professional didactic dimension in nursing and not as a distinctive pedagogical competence outside nursing’s professional foundation. The nurses’ pedagogical competence is expressed both in meeting patients’ specific educational needs and in nursing related actions. Even if nurses first and foremost emphasise professional nursing content when educating and counselling patients, their pedagogical competence also contains a didactic repertoire and communicative skills adapted to the needs of the situation. The study shows that there is great room for improvement in both training and the professional field to better enable nurses to meet the demands for counselling and education of patients and any family members imposed by law.