Original Research

Nursing students’ perceptions of soft skills training in Ghana

Luke Laari, Barbara M. Dube
Curationis | Vol 40, No 1 | a1677 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v40i1.1677 | © 2017 Luke Laari, Barbara M. Dube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2016 | Published: 22 September 2017

About the author(s)

Luke Laari, Presbyterian Nurses Training College, Ghana
Barbara M. Dube, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Background: The quality of nursing care rendered today is markedly reducing and the amount of time spent with patients listening to and explaining issues concerning their conditions is gradually diminishing. The therapeutic touch and the listening ear of the nurse are no longer accessible to the patient. Understanding what non-technical skills are and their relevance for healthcare practitioners has become a new area of consideration. Although recent literature has highlighted the necessity of introducing soft skills training and assessment within medical education, nursing education is yet to fully embrace this skills training.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore nursing students’ understanding of the concept of soft skills and to acquire their perception on the need for soft skills training to promote quality nursing care.
Methods: A quantitative research design with descriptive and explorative strategies was used. One hundred and ten nursing students were sampled after permission to conduct the study was requested and obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal Ethics Committee.
Results: The results indicated that a majority (68.8%) of respondents understood the concept of soft skills and agreed with the definition of ‘soft skills’. They furthermore agreed that soft skills should be part of the training that student nurses receive during their professional training.
Conclusion: The study revealed that there is a need for nursing students to be educated in soft skills and that this will enhance their job performances in the clinical environment and improve the way in which they communicate with their clients.


Soft Skills; Quality Nursing Care; Training; Attitudes; Communication and Listening Skills


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Crossref Citations

1. The perceived importance of soft (service) skills in nursing care: A research study
Lee Keng Ng
Nurse Education Today  vol: 85  first page: 104302  year: 2020  
doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2019.104302