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Voices used by nurses when communicating with patients and relatives in a department of medicine for older people: An ethnographic study
University West, Department of Health Sciences, Section for nursing - undergraduate level. School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Sweden.
University West, Department of Health Sciences, Section for nursing - graduate level.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3792-6600
School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Sweden.
University West, Department of Health Sciences, Section for nursing - undergraduate level.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2793-9937
2018 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 27, p. E1640-E1650Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIM: To describe how nurses communicate with older patients and their relatives in a department of medicine for older people in western Sweden.

BACKGROUND: Communication is an essential tool for nurses when working with older patients and their relatives but often patients and relatives experience shortcomings in the communication exchanges. They may not receive information or are not treated in a professional way. Good communication can facilitate the development of a positive meeting and improve the patient's health outcome.

DESIGN: An ethnographic design informed by the sociocultural perspective was applied.

METHOD: Forty participatory observations were conducted and analyzed during the period October 2015 to September 2016. The observations covered 135 hours of nurse-patient-relative interaction. Field notes were taken and 40 informal field conversations with nurses and 40 with patients and relatives were carried out. Semi-structured follow-up interviews were conducted with five nurses.

RESULTS: In the result, it was found that nurses communicate with four different voices: a medical voice described as being incomplete, task-oriented and with a disease perspective; a nursing voice described as being confirmatory, process-oriented and with a holistic perspective; a pedagogical voice described as being contextualized, comprehension-oriented and with a learning perspective; and a power voice described as being distancing and excluding. The voices can be seen as context-dependent communication approaches. When nurses switch between the voices this indicates a shift in the orientation or situation.

CONCLUSION: The results indicate that if nurses successfully combine the voices, while limiting the use of the power voice, the communication exchanges can become a more positive experience for all parties involved and a good nurse-patient-relative communication exchange can be achieved.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Working for improved communication between nurses, patients and relatives is crucial for establishing a positive nurse-patient-relative relationship, which is a basis for improving patient care and healthcare outcomes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 27, p. E1640-E1650
Keywords [en]
communication, ethnography, nurses’ voices, older patient, relative, sociocultural perspective
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
NURSING AND PUBLIC HEALTH SCIENCE, Nursing science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-12202DOI: 10.1111/jocn.14316ISI: 000430825100036PubMedID: 29493834OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-12202DiVA, id: diva2:1188564
Available from: 2018-03-07 Created: 2018-03-07 Last updated: 2018-05-14Bibliographically approved

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Boman, ÅsePennbrant, Sandra

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