The 2005 Helene Hudson Memorial Lecture: Leaving our imprints: An exploration into the nurse-patient relationship
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Oncology nursing aims to promote physical and psychosocial well-being of individuals and families at risk for, or living with, a life-threatening illness. A basic component of nursing practice is the nurse-patient relationship (Canadian Nurses Association, 2002). This relationship has been shown to have a positive impact on individuals' well-being as they journey through their cancer experience (Herth, 1995). While the nurse-patient therapeutic relationship is fundamental to nursing care and may be quite subtle in its transaction, it is a complex phenomenon with every encounter being meaningful and impacting both the patient and the nurse. Reflecting on the nature of this relationship can facilitate a richer and deeper awareness of the unique contribution oncology nurses make in the lives they touch and are touched by. This presentation will explore the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship in oncology nursing. The authors intend to facilitate self-reflection and increased awareness of both the art and science of the therapeutic relationship. In particular, qualities of the nurse-patient relationship, the importance of communication, both verbal and nonverbal, and the use of silence will be explored. We will incorporate theory, evidence, experiential learning along with story-telling, music, poetry and video images to convey our message.
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