Patients' and nurses' experiences of the caring relationship in hospital: an aware striving for trust

Linda Berg, Ella Danielson
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 2007, 21 (4): 500-6
The phenomenon, caring relationship, has been widely studied in earlier research. Nevertheless, empirical studies in hospital, concerning patients and nurses experiences of the actual phenomenon caring relationship are rare. The aim was to illuminate patients with long-term illness and nurses' experiences of the caring relationship. The data were collected from 13 interviews, seven patients and six nurses, which were then analysed using an interpretive phenomenological method. This study shows patients' and nurses' view of the phenomenon. The findings concerning patients' view were identified in themes --'Maintaining dignity' with subthemes: using one's own competence and being cared for by the team as well as 'A feeling of vulnerability' with subthemes: being cared for in a strained situation and being exposed, inquiring personal caring relationship. The findings concerning nurses' view were identified in the following themes: 'A purposeful striving' with subthemes: using one's own competence and being aware of limitations as well as 'An arduous compassion' with subthemes: giving care in a strained situation and being aware of what is needed. These findings show that patients and nurses were aware in their striving for trust through forming a caring relationship. Their striving was not enough to result in trust. The findings in this study are understood as patients need a personal caring relationship which enables the possibility of trust.

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