Do the carers care? A phenomenological study of providing care for patients suffering from alcohol use disorders

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Excessive alcohol consumption can have adverse effects on health, and patients who suffer from alcohol use disorders are subject to much stigmatization. Nurses are often the first point of contact when patients enter the acute medical unit, and it is pivotal that this contact establishes the basis for future collaboration. The aim of this study is to elucidate nurses' lived experience of providing care to patients suffering from alcohol use disorders. This present study has a qualitative research design, anchored in phenomenological and hermeneutical methodology as described in reflective lifeworld research. Ten in-depth, open-ended interviews with nurses working in an acute medical unit were conducted. The analysis showed that providing care to patients suffering from alcohol use disorders was a highly complex task to accomplish. This required the nurse to engage with the patient in a sensitive cooperation in order to be dealing with the intricacy of the patient's life situation and balancing care between standardized procedures and the complexity of the patients. Further, a two-sided feeling of responsibility emerged: a professional responsibility and a personal responsibility causing the provision of care as being caught between feelings of despondency and resignation. Nurses lack opportunities for being creative in determining how to provide care; instead, patients' perspectives of well-being should be taken into account and should guide the provision of a meaningful care. Nurses must call for opportunities to deviate from the firmly established procedures restraining the care of this population.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummere12322
TidsskriftNursing Inquiry
Vol/bind27
Nummer1
Antal sider9
ISSN1320-7881
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2020

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