Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the significance of arts-based methodologies in nursing practice and health care.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify and further reflect on ways to enhance the balance between humanistic- and technological-based practices in nursing.
Methods: Narrative emplotment was the theoretical foundations, which framed the research around stories and the temporal and contextual act of plot construction. Narrative-based interviews were completed with sixteen individuals at 2-4 days following heart surgery and 4-6 weeks following discharge. The analytic process involved aesthetic immersion in which researchers became emotionally, morally and cognitively attuned to stories. Researchers attended to the narrative flow and linguistic components of stories including characters, events and outcomes.
Results: Key results indicated that participants struggled with the following: a) balancing possibilities of death with positive probabilities of life; b) protective mechanism of relinquishing control and becoming passive and non-agential; c) cared for in ways that were technologically competent, but neglected personal engagement; and d) anxiety and fear about unfamiliar body sensations, unpredictable futures, and uncertainty on pathways of recovery.
Conclusion: Evidence-based practice involves critical consideration of enhancing the balance between humanistic- and technological-based practices of care. Arts-informed methodologies can prompt an understanding of this balance and enhance aesthetic ways of knowing that provide emotional, moral and intellectual insight into patients’ experiences.