"Care to Know Care": Development of Social Skills with Portuguese Nursing Students

Tuesday, July 12, 2011: 1:45 PM

Rosa Cristina Correia Lopes, RN, MS
Scientific Educational Unit of Nursing and Psychiatric Mental Health, Nursing School of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Zaida Azeredo, PhD
University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Rogério Rodrigues, PhD
Nursing School of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Learning Objective 1: Sensitise the learner for importance of developing training programs of the social skills with nursing students in the context of clinical teaching.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to recognise the influence of developing training programs of the social skills for improving the quality of nursing care.


The basis of professional competence in nursing is, firstly, the personal qualities, or personality of the nurse is crucial for the acquisition of training and experience. It thus contains two essential aspects: the mobilization of personal and mobilization of knowledge and know-how applied to nursing care.

Parallel stresses the importance of training in higher education should include interpersonal development as part of academic goals, especially in areas that depend significantly on the quality of client-professional relationship, such as psychology, nursing or medicine.

The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of program to promote personal and social skills, taught to nursing students in developing their interpersonal relationships and aid in the context of clinical education, to promote improved effectiveness in the quality of care.


Resorted to a quasi-experimental study were defined two groups of students in 2nd year of degree course of Nursing: experimental group (EG) and control group (CG) with respectively 62 and 42 participants. The instrument for collecting quantitative data consisted of: collection of socio-demographic data; Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Inventory of self-concept (ICAC) and the Rathus Assertiveness Scale (RAS), applied in two teaching groups in the same week (after informed consent).


The intervention program "Care to Learn Care", comprised 10 sessions of 2 hours. We addressed the following themes: communication, managing emotions, cooperation, listening and empathy, self-concept, assertiveness, interview, empathy/help relationship in nursing, using active strategies: games, group dynamics, drama, role-play and others.


The results in self-concept, assertiveness and the factors describing feelings, externally oriented thinking and alexithymia can be concluded about the importance of conducting training programs for social skills training for nursing students / nurses to enhance skills in relational care in nursing and improve the quality of nursing care provided to the patient, family and community.