A team of educators taught nurses a method to assist patients in adapting to their altered body image after an amputation. The goal was to test an educational intervention to improve nurses’ confidence by teaching them how to offer a mirror to patients who have recently had amputations or other visible body disfigurement.
Forty-eight registered nurses who worked in two acute care hospitals took part in the education, which included a video, a presentation, and a recorded discussion.
The results of the repeated-measures research study found that the nurses experienced a significant increase in confidence in supporting patients and frequency of offering mirrors to them. An overarching theme from the qualitative analysis was that the nurse participants perceived assisting patients in viewing their changed bodies in mirrors as an act of compassion.
Four subthemes emerged: (a) seeing mirrors differently, (b) there is only one first time, (c) how can we do this better, and (d) “me too” stories of their own and patients’ difficult mirror-viewing experiences.
The study, “Educating Nurses on Supported Mirror Viewing for Patients After Amputation and Other Visible Disfigurements,” was published in Rehabilitation Nursing.
To read more about the work of Wyona M. Freysteinson, PhD, MN, the study’s first author, visit “Mirror Shock: Viewing Self After Limb Loss.”