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Ways of understanding being a healthcare professional in the role of family member of a patient admitted to hospital: A phenomenographic study
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0714-0167
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7352-8234
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences.
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0679-5695
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Nursing Studies, ISSN 0020-7489, E-ISSN 1873-491X, Vol. 53, p. 50-60Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Healthcare professionals' experience of being family member of a patient can contribute to knowledge development and organizational learning in further ways than the experiences of general family members. However, there is little research on healthcare professionals' experience being on 'the other side of the bed'.

Objective: To describe how healthcare professionals understand the role of being a healthcare professional and a family member of a patient admitted to hospital.

Design: Qualitative with a phenomenographic approach.

Setting: Three Swedish hospitals.

Participants: All healthcare professionals in three hospitals were invited. Twenty-one volunteered for the study and 18 met the inclusion criteria; to have one year of professional experience and to have visited the family member in hospital daily during hospitalization. Family members in maternity or psychiatric care were excluded.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were used for data collection. Transcripts were analyzed with a phenomenographic method to describe variation and commonality in the ways of understanding the phenomenon under study.

Results: Four dominant ways of understanding the phenomenon were identified; the informed bystander, the supervisor, the advocate and the carer. The four ways of understanding were hierarchically related with "The informed bystander" being least involved in the care of the family member and "The carer" more or less taking over the patient's care because of inappropriate, unsafe or omitted care. Common for all ways of understanding the phenomenon, except "The informed bystander", was the difficult balance between their loyalty toward the family member and their colleagues among the staff. "The informed bystander" and "The supervisor" are ways of understanding the phenomenon under study that, to our knowledge, has not been described before.

Conclusions: This study describes how being a family member of a patient can be understood in four different ways when the family member is a healthcare professional. The findings show similarities to previous studies on general family members as well as nurse-family members of patients in critical care. The need for professional communication, support and coordination will be substantially different if the family member understands his/her role as an informed bystander compared to if they perceive themselves as a carer. The role conflict and ambivalence toward building relationships described are aspects that need further exploration, as does the experience of being forced to care for a family member. Our findings contribute with new knowledge developing patient- and family-centered care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, United Kingdom: Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 53, p. 50-60
Keywords [en]
Family, patient care, phenomenography, qualitative methods
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Nursing
Research subject
Caring sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-47265DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.10.004ISI: 000366873100006PubMedID: 26508538OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-47265DiVA, id: diva2:890194
Available from: 2015-12-31 Created: 2015-12-31 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Carlsson, EvaAnderzén Carlsson, AgnetaPrenkert, MalinSvantesson, Mia

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