Demystifying sexual connotations: A model for facilitating the teaching of intimate care to nursing students in South Africa

  • S. Shakwane
  • S. Mokoboto-Zwane

Abstract

Background. The concept of intimate care is not freely used in nursing education and practice. Nursing students provide basic nursing care that requires physical and psychological closeness to diverse patients. During the execution of some basic nursing care, patients’ body parts that are considered intimate, private and sexual, are exposed and touched. This encounter with a patient’s naked body may bring about feelings of anxiety, embarrassment and discomfort for nursing students and patients.
Objective. To develop and describe a model for facilitating the teaching of intimate care to nursing students in South Africa.
Methods. The study was conducted at two nursing education institutions (NEIs) in Gauteng Province. A qualitative, theory-generating, research design that is explorative, descriptive and contextual in nature was used to develop a model for facilitating the teaching of intimate care to nursing students. A combination of stages of theory-generating approaches was used to identify and define the main concept. The structure and process of the model were visually portrayed and described.
Results. The findings of this study demonstrate that intimate care is not facilitated in NEIs and nursing students are not well prepared and supported to provide intimate care to diverse patients competently, confidently and comfortably. Facilitating the teaching of intimate care to nursing students was identified as the main concept. Based on this, a model to facilitate the teaching of intimate care to nursing students was therefore proposed, described and visually illustrated.
Conclusion. The developed model will assist nurse educators in facilitating the teaching of intimate care in NEIs and in providing continuous support to nursing students. It will empower students to implement intimate care competently, comfortably and  confidently, enabling them to establish nurse-patient intimate care relationships based on trust, respect and dignity

Published
2021-04-29
Section
Articles

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