Date of this version


Document Type



decentering resource, hermeneutics, patient education, phenomenology, interpretive pedagogies


The purpose of this interpretive phenomenological study was to document an innovative approach to teaching patient education where RN–Bachelor of Science in Nursing students, through an online course, learned and applied the interpretive pedagogies in patient education. The online course was the educational intervention which laid the groundwork of the study. Data were then collected from 9 of 18 students who took the course and agreed to participate. Interviews were audiotaped face to face or by telephone and transcribed and interpreted for meanings. Two themes that emerged for teaching patient education included “Decentering Resources: Listening Through Questioning” and “Decentering Resources: Empowering Through Questioning.” This study revealed that, as students learned the interpretive pedagogies, resources (brochures, handouts, videos, etc.) took on less importance in their patient education practice. They recognized how resources frequently impeded patient–nurse interactions in teaching and learning encounters. Once students understood that they were perhaps depending too much on resources, they began engaging in questioning practices where significant meanings of listening and empowering in patient education unfolded. This study encourages nurse educators to teach students interpretive pedagogies in patient education to promote pedagogical literacy, which preserves the time-honored tradition of working together with patients during teaching and learning encounters.


DOI: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2008.01.010



Published in

Journal of Professional Nursing

Citation/Other Information

Scheckel, M., & Erickson, J. H. (2009). Decentering resources: A phenomenological study of interpretive pedagogies in patient education. Journal of Professional Nursing, 25, 57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2008.01.010