Närhet på distans : Nattsjuksköterskors vårdande i kommunal äldreomsorg
Sammanfattning: Registered nurses’ [RNs] experiences of caring in nursing, working conditions for caring and reflection in municipal night care was explored to create expanded knowledge and understanding of care for older people. As a consequence of the Ädelreform and development in hospital health care a displacement from clinical health care to municipal care of older people has taken place. Night RNs’ work in the complex municipal care of older people implies single handed work in a consultative function. The RNs are distanced from the care receivers; it is care staff who mainly perform bed side caring. Municipal RNs’ care for older people during nights means trusting their own knowledge and reflective ability, in having nursing responsibility for large groups of old care recipients. This thesis takes point of departure in a qualitative research approach, with four empirical studies. These have been accomplished in a medium sized municipality in the middle parts of Sweden. The aims of the part studies were: to elucidate municipal night nurses’ experiences of the meaning of caring in nursing (I), to explore Swedish municipal night nurses’ experiences of their working conditions for caring in nursing (II), to examine the caring for care staff offered by municipal night nurses, in the setting of old care recipients people enrolled in the municipal social care system (III) and to describe nurses’ conception of reflection in their working situation (IV). Data were collected with interviews (I, II, IV), diary notes (II) and participative observations (III). The data were analyzed with phenomenological hermeneutics (I), thematic content analysis (II, III) and phenomenography (IV). The results reveal that night RNs caring in nursing means the paradoxes: being close at a distance, being responsible without control and being independently dependent. Caring in nursing means a caring stance in prioritizing and taking responsibility for care recipients and care of care staff (I). Night RNs’ caring is dependent on the organization and care staff, and is complex by the fact that the RNs are not care staff leaders. The RNs’ autonomy prerequisite the ability to handle their work, which mainly means mediated caring communicated by telephone (II). The night RNs’ care of care staff means an informal nursing leadership. With their medical competence and authority the RNs occupy a superior caring leader function in nursing (III). Reflection is conceptualized as an instrument to handle the working situation and requires capacity of presence, flexibility and courage. To reflect is experienced to use knowledge, ethics and also personal values, in considering, estimating and assessing caring situations and actions (IV). The conclusion of the studies (I-V) is that the night RNs’ caring is dependent on the prerequisites described in the dimensions of the organization, self-understanding and vocational and professional relations. The RNs must be able to reflect and handle the situation of caring at a distance, without loosing the vocational fundamental condition of caring, though the consultant function implies that they seldom encounter the care recipients. Increased quality, development and creating possibilities for dignity in care for older people means the RNs must participate more in bed side caring. The RNs should also be caring leaders and be given the opportunity for adequate specialist training in gerontology nursing.
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