Meanings of nurses’ lived experiences of providing care for older patients with cognitive impairment in acute care settings
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Aim. This study aimed to illuminate meanings of caring for older patients with cognitive impairment in acute care settings as experienced by nursing staff.
Background. Older people with cognitive impairment represent a large group of patients in acute care settings. Research demonstrates that these acute care environments can be unsafe and even unfriendly for frail older patients. Also research and clinical experience reveals that being a nurse in acute/specialized medical facilities means to work in a high-speed, technologically complex and demanding environment. And when providing care for older patients with cognitive impairment, nurses’ workload and responsibilities increases. This being largely dependent on how easily it is to connect with and help patients understand what to do, and what is best for them.
Method. A purposeful sample of thirteen nurses experienced in caring for older people with cognitive impairment in acute care settings participated in the study. Narrative interviews were conducted during autumn 2012 and interpreted using a phenomenological-hermeneutic method.
Findings. Caring for older, acutely ill patients with cognitive impairment was found to be very complex Meanings of caring for older patients with cognitive impairment seemed to shift depending on perception of the patients and the gap between what nurses can do (real) and want to do (ideal) in providing care for these patients. The greater this gap was experienced and the care perceived as meaningless, the more serious the treat to nurses’ personal-professional integrity which could be risked, compromised or harmed.
Comprehensive understanding- Indicates that, being a nurse and having to care for older patients in acute care settings is to provide nursing care in an environment that does not support the nurses’ possibilities to protect and develop their personal–professional integrity.
acute care, cognitive impairment, health professional, narratives, nursing, older people, perception, integrity, phenomenological hermeneutical
Research subject Caring Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83196OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-83196DiVA: diva2:665842
FunderSwedish Research Council