Hot topic right now and (luckily?) the focus of my MA Ed thesis !

  • People generally enter a healthcare profession because they want to care/ want to make a difference
  • This requires emotional labour
  • These experience of caring can be rewarding/flourishing
  • Can also sometimes cause ‘self’ to suffer
  • Students in particular are often ill prepared for this emotional and cognitive labour of caring
  • McAllister (2009)

So, what is resilience ? Interestingly there is no clear definition; this in it’s self raises allsorts of issues because how can we ‘research’ it if the definition is unclear ?

The classic definition of resilience revolves around ‘bouncing’ or ‘recovering’ after an event or stressor.

An ability to bounce back from adversity/set backs


But, is this the case ?  In my research I asked 44 students (who had no prior teaching to influence their perception) what their definition of personal resilience was.  The results are fascinating:

categories of resilience


Does it matter if we don’t have a clear definition?

Does the language someone is using matter to their perception of personal resilience?

Does the language someone is using matter when it comes to how they may develop or protect their resilience ? Do different things work/not work ?





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