Learning how to respond to suffering is a significant challenge for healthcare providers. This interdisciplinary paper relays a Pedagogy of Suffering Model, based on research following a suffering interview project with undergraduate nursing students. The model is compared to the Gospel account of an encounter between Jesus and a Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30), supporting biblical and theological soundness of the model's transformative tasks for learning how to respond to suffering. The model can guide development of learning experiences that deepen understanding of compassionate interventions for those who suffer.
Rebecca Gaudino, PhD, MDiv, is an ordained minister; she teaches biblical studies and theology at the University of Portland, Oregon. One of her courses, designed for nursing students, is Theological Dimensions of Suffering and Death.
Barbara Braband, EdD, MSN, BAN, RN, CNE serves as program director of the nurse educator and clinical nurse leader master's programs at the University of Portland. She has experience in community/population health, medical-surgical, perioperative nursing, DNP, and nurse educator programs.
Anissa Rogers, PhD, MSW, LCSW is a licensed social worker and directs the social work program at the University of Portland. Her interests include end-of-life issues and visiting hospice patients with her therapy dog, Sookie.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Accepted by peer review 9/15/15.