Hello Visiting Professor Maria Jiménez Herrera!

What will you be doing at the Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare?

I am so excited about the opportunity to come here. I will be involved in the nursing courses at Master's and doctoral levels. I am also happy to lecture to students in the undergraduate programme for nurses. I will be relaunching an international exchange between our higher education institutions (Erasmus+). The collaboration has been going on for ten years, but the pandemic got in the way.

What do you research?

My research areas are mainly in healthcare science and ethics and I try to unite them both. We need to focus on that which is human, not just the technically medical aspects of prehospital care. The technical medical aspects are only 10 percent of the daily life of the paramedics. The rest is about being able to meet people in emergency situations and dealing with your feelings and feeling secure in yourself.  Often it's about being able to handle an entire family's situation. In addition, you often work alone.

Can you tell us about any of your research projects?

Christer Axelsson, Professor of Prehospital Emergency Care, and I have just completed a project called Compassion in nursing care; does it differ between cultures? A Spanish, Swedish and Japanese perspective. We studied what compassion means for nurses working in different cultures. We have conducted focus group interviews with nurses in Japan, Sweden and Spain in intensive care, ambulance care, prehospital care, and emergency care.

We came to the conclusion that compassion contains different elements. It means different things in different cultures based on these elements.  One such element can be the word "family". What is considered family is different in Spain, Sweden, and Japan. In Sweden, the family is a more limited unit, while the family in Spain and Japan is much larger. When you get sick, there are different large family circles that participate in one’s care. In Spain, for example, relatives expect to be part of the care at all times. In a world that is becoming increasingly intercultural, it is very important to understand these cultural differences and that nurses receive such knowledge into their educational programmes.

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Maria Jiménez Herrera

Universitat Rovira i Virgili