Doing the little things: the meaning of compassionate care to Scottish student nurses

David J. Hunter, Jacqueline McCallum, Dora Howes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Compassion is a topical issue in nursing, in relation to clinical practice, nurse education and policy. By reviewing the literature focusing on this aspect of nurse education, it was apparent that the experiences of student nurses themselves regarding compassionate care had received little attention. This paper describes a study which aimed to address this gap in the literature. The underpinning methodology used within the study is that of an exploratory-descriptive qualitative (EDQ) design. Following ethical approval, data was collected via individual, semi-structured interviews with fifteen student nurses across four different geographical locations in the West of Scotland. Findings identified that student nurses described compassionate care as 'doing the little things', small acts of kindness which have an impact on the patient or relative. In addition, compassion relies on communication and the building of relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th Annual Worldwide Nursing Conference (WNC 2017)
PublisherGlobal Science and Technology Forum
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAnnual Worldwide Nursing Conference 2017 - , Singapore
Duration: 24 Jul 201725 Jul 2017 (Accepted papers)

Publication series

PublisherGlobal Science and Technology Forum (GSTF)
ISSN (Print)2315-4330
ISSN (Electronic)2315-4349


ConferenceAnnual Worldwide Nursing Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleWNC 2017
Internet address


  • student nurses
  • compassionate care
  • qualitative research


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