Registered nurses' perceptions of their professional work in nursing homes and home-based care : A focus group study

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Registered nurses' perceptions of their professional work in nursing homes and home-based care : A focus group study

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Registered nurses' perceptions of their professional work in nursing homes and home-based care : A focus group study
Author(s) Carlson, Elisabeth ; Rämgård, Margareta ; Bolmsjö, Ingrid ; Bengtsson, Mariette
Date 2013
English abstract
Background: In Sweden, as well as in most industrialized countries, an increasing older population is expected to create a growing demand for health care staff. Previous studies have pointed to lack of proficient medical and nursing staff specialized in geriatric care, which poses serious threats to the care of a vulnerable population. At the same time, there are studies describing elderly care as a low-status career choice, attracting neither nurses nor student nurses. Judging from previous research it was deemed important to explore how nurses in elderly care perceive their work, thus possibly provide vital knowledge that can guide nurse educators and unit managers as a means to promote a career in elderly care. Objective: The aim of the present study was to illuminate how nurses, working in nursing homes and home-based care, perceived their professional work. Method: This was a qualitative study using focus groups. 30 registered nurses in seven focus groups were interviewed. The participants worked in nursing homes and home-based care for the elderly in rural areas and in a larger city in southern Sweden. The interviews were analyzed in line with the tradition of naturalistic inquiry. Results: Our findings illustrate how nurses working in elderly care perceived their professional work as holistic and respectful nursing with the older person at its centre. Three categories emerged during analysis: (1) establishing long-term relationships, (2) nursing beyond technical skills, and (3) balancing independence and a sense of loneliness. Conclusions: We suggest that nurse educators and nurse managers promote continuity and long term relationships with patients, as well as independence and the opportunity to provide holistic care as key aspects of elderly care. These key aspects can be used to attract and retain nurses to a much needed area as well as be used as positive examples that can influence values and attitudes towards a career in elderly care.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2013.10.002 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Elsevier
Host/Issue International Journal of Nursing Studies;5
Volume 51
ISSN 0020-7489
Pages 761–767
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Elderly care
Focus groups
Long term relationship
Professional work
Registered nurses
Medicine
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/16081 (link to this page)

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