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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-61

Assessment of level of empathy among nursing students during internship

National Institute of Nursing Education, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sukhpal Kaur
National Institute of Nursing Education, PGIMER, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_5_17

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Background and Objective: Empathy is one of the therapeutic communication techniques for providing comfort to the client. It is an important component of meaningful interpersonal relationship. Internship is the period of tremendous changes, both personally and professionally. The current study was undertaken to assess the level of empathy among the nursing students during their internship. Methodology: The study was descriptive in nature. It was carried out at a nursing college of a North Indian city. Forty-six nursing interns participated in the study. Jefferson Scale of Empathy was administered three times to the students during the internship, i.e., at the beginning, at 6 months, and at the completion of internship. Results: Mean age ± standard deviation of the participants was 21.43 ± 0.91 with the range of 20–23 years. There was an increase in the number of participants with high level of empathy from the 23.9% at the beginning to 29.6% at the midway and 28.3% at the end of internship, but the increase was not statistically significant (P > 0.01). The mean empathy score, in the beginning, was 50.76 ± 4.2 with the range of 43–60. At the midway of the internship, the score was 52.13 ± 4.62 with the range of 40–60. However, at the end of internship the score was 52.41 ± 4.48 with the range of 40–60. There was no significant change in the empathy score throughout the internship (F = 1.816, P = 0.167). It may be because of the saturation level of empathy among the students of senior most class. Hence, future research may study empathy level among all the 4 years of training separately rather than only interns.

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