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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Empathy Development Through Role Modeling: A Qualitative Study of Instructor Experiences
by Seegmiller Renner, Amy, Ph.D., Capella University, 2017, 128; 10639711
Abstract (Summary)

The development of empathy in the healthcare setting is integral to high-quality patient care as empathy provides the ability to connect with patients to gain a better understanding of their emotions and experiences. Empathetic education is a component of medical education and nursing education; however, it is not a required curricular component in most laboratory-based education programs. In laboratory-based education programs, the teaching of empathy is conducted through role modeling, which has been identified as an optimal teaching strategy to assist students with developing their empathetic abilities. Numerous studies have been conducted to examine the role modeling process; however, limited research on instructors’ experiences with utilizing role modeling to teach empathy has been conducted. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences instructors in laboratory-based education programs have had utilizing role modeling to develop students’ empathetic abilities, focusing on instructor successes and challenges. The study utilized Bandura’s social learning theory as the theoretical framework. The study was conducted utilizing a basic qualitative study design. The sample comprised eight instructors from the histology technician, cytotechnology, and medical laboratory sciences programs at an academic medical institution in the Midwest. Data analysis was conducted utilizing the constant comparative method. Findings from the study indicated that past experiences provided participants with opportunities to identify and apply positive role modeling skills to elevate their teaching abilities. While challenges were not well-described, the ability to connect with students through role modeling empathy allowed participants to demonstrate how empathy can be beneficial to others. The impact of empathy on student development was observed by the participants as students actively utilized empathy to create a connection to the patient, thereby promoting a higher quality of laboratory services.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wilcox, Bonita
Commitee: Barker, Doroty, Sabet, Behrooz
School: Capella University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Educational psychology, Higher education
Keywords: Empathy, Instructor experiences, Learning environment, Reflection, Role modeling, Student development
Publication Number: 10639711
ISBN: 978-0-355-47078-9
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