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Meanings of giving touch in the care of older patients: becoming a valuable person and professional
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing.
2003 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 12, no 4, 601-609 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Touch is central to nursing and health care workers frequently touch their patients, consciously or unconsciously in their interactions with them. Most literature has studied touch from a patient perspective, thus inquiry about professionals' experiences are rare. The aim of this study was to illuminate meanings of giving touch in nursing care of older patients. To understand the meaning of lived experiences of giving touch in care of older patients, interviews with 12 health care professionals in northern Sweden were analysed using a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach influenced by the philosophy of Ricoeur. The findings show that giving touch in the care of older patients is a transforming experience, where one suddenly perceives oneself as both a valuable person and professional who no longer powerlessly confronts patients' haunted and disrupted bodies, but who, by means of touch, has gained power to ease this suffering. The experience also transforms the way one regards older patients. Instead of seeing a severely demanding patient suffering from dementia and/or pain, one is able to see the person behind the disease as a human being, like oneself. A relationship described as calm, friendly and humane is created between caregiver and patient when giving touch, a relationship that transcends the moment of touch and influences one's way of caring. This understanding is presented using the theoretical framework of the philosophy of Marcel. Giving touch has the power to shed new light on health care professionals' experiences of caring for older patients suffering from dementia and/or pain, giving them the power to be a valuable person and professional.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 12, no 4, 601-609 p.
Keyword [en]
health care professionals, lived experience, older patients, phenomenological-hermeneutics, touch
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4343DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2702.2003.00754.xPubMedID: 12790874OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-4343DiVA: diva2:143385
Available from: 2005-01-11 Created: 2005-01-11 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Atmosphere in care settings: Towards a broader understanding of the phenomenon
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Atmosphere in care settings: Towards a broader understanding of the phenomenon
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the study is to understand and describe the phenomenon ‘atmosphere in care settings’ as experienced by patients, significant others and health care staff. The study consists of four papers, each of which illuminates various aspects of the phenomenon. Data consisted of observations and interviews with patients, significant others and staff (n=126) within a hospice, a geriatric, a medical and an oncology setting, and community care settings for older people. Narrative analysis, grounded theory, and phenomenological hermeneutics were used in a triangular fashion to analyse the data.

The findings illuminate the phenomenon ‘atmosphere in care settings’ as being constituted by two interacting and interwoven dimensions: the physical environment and people’s doing and being in the environment. The physical environment is the first dimension, and five aspects were illuminated, namely the physical environment as a symbol; as containing symbols; as influencing interaction; as facilitating a shift of focus from oneself to the environment, and; as containing scents and sounds influencing experiences of at-homeness or alienation. People’s doing and being in the environment is the other dimension, and five aspects were illuminated, namely the experience (or absence of experience) of a welcoming; of seeing and being seen; of a willingness to serve; of a calm pace; and of safety. It was understood that people’s doing and being influences experiences of the physical environment and that the physical environment influences experiences of people’s doing and being. The comprehensive understanding illuminated that the phenomenon is not merely subtle qualities of the place for care, but an active part of care. Both the physical environment and peoples doing and being conveys messages of caring and uncaring. The atmosphere of a care setting can at best support experiences of at-homeness in relation to oneself, others and the surrounding world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Omvårdnad, 2005. 189 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 941
Keyword
Nursing, Narrative analysis, Grounded Theory, Phenomenological hermeneutics, Symbols, At-homeness, Environment, Omvårdnad
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
omvårdnadsforskning med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-406 (URN)91-7305-807-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-02-04, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-01-11 Created: 2005-01-11 Last updated: 2009-11-11Bibliographically approved

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