Therapeutic Relationship of Staff Nurses with Medical Patients: Basis for In-Service Training Program

Norvin T. Miguel


Originally highlighted in the psychiatric nursing literature, the therapeutic relationship has been recognized as fundamental to all nursing practice.15,16,18However, the researcher found out during his clinical duties that seldom the therapeutic relationship was established because of nurses' heavy workload. This captured the researcher's interest to help nurses develop their skills in establishing therapeutic relationship. Descriptive-correlational design was used with questionnaire as data gathering tool. This study was conducted in the general wards of four private tertiary hospitals in Cabanatuan City and participated by 129 staff nurses and 331 medical patients with the use of total enumeration and quota sampling techniques, respectively. Data gathered were treated statistically to determine the socio-demographic profile of staff nurses and to describe the therapeutic relationship established by staff nurses.
Results revealed that staff nurses "Always" performed the roles pertaining to building trust, genuine interest, conveying acceptance, giving positive regard, self-awareness, and therapeutic use of self as perceived by both groups of respondents. Only in items pertaining to showing empathy did the two groups had difference in description. Moreover, there was significant difference between nurses' and medical patients' descriptions on the therapeutic relationship being rendered. A significant difference also exists among patients' description when they are grouped according to hospitals where they work.
As recommendation, the researcher was able to develop an intensive in-service training program that addressed the weaknesses and problems identified in various aspects of therapeutic relationship.


ethico-moral values, interpersonal relations, nursing process, positive attitude, professional boundaries, rapport, therapeutic communication

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