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Caring through barriers—Newly graduated registered nurses' lived experiences in emergency departments during the COVID-19 pandemic
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6512-849x
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Department of Health and Care Sciences, UiT/The Arctic University of Norway, Narvik, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9714-577X
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8008-8169
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. (BEME & PRILIV)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6292-7010
2023 (English)In: Journal of Advanced Nursing, ISSN 0309-2402, E-ISSN 1365-2648, Vol. 79, no 6, p. 2269-2279Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: To illuminate the meaning of newly graduated registered nurses' experiences of caring for patients in emergency departments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design: A phenomenological hermeneutical study guided by Lindseth and Norberg. Methods: In-depth one-on-one interviews with 14 nurses from five hospitals were conducted from March to November 2020 and analysed using thematic analysis. The consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ) were used as the reporting guideline. Results: The findings comprise one main theme Caring through barriers and three themes with sub-themes. In the first theme, having intention to care, participants revealed their dedication to care for patients during the pandemic despite extensive stress, little experience and skills. The second theme, with tied hands in human suffering, illuminates experiences of being disconnected from the patient, overwhelmed by responsibility and unable to relieve suffering. The third theme, feeling inadequate, reveals experiences of lack of support and doubts meaning less space to develop into the nurse one wants to be. Conclusion: Findings reveal a new understanding of new nurses' experiences during times of crisis. The essence of caring in the emergency department during the pandemic can be explained as mediated through spatial, temporal and emotional barriers preventing new nurses from providing holistic care. Impact: The results may be used as anticipatory guidance for new nurses and inform targeted support interventions to support new nurses entering the profession in crisis conditions. Public Contribution: This study involved new nurses in semi-structured interviews. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley and Sons Inc , 2023. Vol. 79, no 6, p. 2269-2279
Keywords [en]
caring, caring science, compassion, COVID-19, emergency care, emergency department, moral stress, nurses, nursing, phenomenological hermeneutics
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-61921DOI: 10.1111/jan.15585ISI: 000928479500001PubMedID: 36749551Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85147516068OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-61921DiVA, id: diva2:1736924
Available from: 2023-02-15 Created: 2023-02-15 Last updated: 2024-04-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Nurses' caring struggle: Stress in caring within hospital emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nurses' caring struggle: Stress in caring within hospital emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Nurses took a frontline caregiving role during the COVID-19 pandemic in pervasively altered conditions in Swedish hospital emergency healthcare. Little is known about nurses’ experiences of the stress they were subjected to. In this thesis, findings from individual in-depth interviews with both newly graduated registered nurses (NGRNs) and experienced nurses (ERNs), as well as a web-based questionnaire, illuminate nurses’ lived experiences of stress in caring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three studies employed qualitative methods (I, II, IV), and one a mixed methods approach (III). Study I aimed to describe NGRNs’ experiences of encountering stress in EDs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings illuminate how dedicated NGRNs struggle to develop into the nurse they want to be whilst battling extraordinary situations and conflicting emotions. Loss of control and experiences of shortcomings caused by work overload in combination with understaffing force NGRNs into an independent role at an early point in their career. Study II aimed to illuminate the meaning of NGRNs' experiences of caring for patients in EDs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings comprise caring being bestowed through spatial, emotional, and temporal barriers. NGRNs want to be present, relieve suffering yet describe caring during the pandemic as being a hidden activity, less acknowledged and left to the recognition of each nurse. Study III aimed to explore healthcare workers’ (HCWs’) experiences of the changed caring reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings disclose traumatic experiences and having to sacrifice moral values and harbour dilemmas in isolation. Experiencing stress was significantly correlated to lower sense of coherence (SOC). Study IV aimed to explore nurses’ lived experiences of stress in the transformed caring reality during the COVID-19 pandemic. The interpreted meaning comprises the dilemma of enduring the unbearable, meaning having to silence one’s inner ethical, caring compass. In conclusion, stress in caring during the COVID-19 pandemic from a nurse perspective, can be understood as a caring struggle entailing bodily, knowledge, and ethical stress in a search for meaning that might be found in togetherness with patients, with colleagues, with dear ones and in nature.

Abstract [sv]

Covid-19-pandemin innebar genomgripande förändrade förhållanden inom svensk akutsjukvård och lite är känt om sjuksköterskors erfarenheter av den stress de utsattes för. Den här avhandlingens övergripande syfte var att utforska sjuksköterskors erfarenheter av stress i vårdandet i akutmiljöer på sjukhus under Covid-19-pandemin. Det empiriska materialet bestod av individuella djupintervjuer och en webbaserad enkät. Guidad av ett livsvärldsperspektiv på sjuksköterskors erfarenheter genomfördes tre studier med kvalitativa metoder (I, II, IV) och en med mixad metod (III). Avhandlings resultat belyser nyutexaminerade och erfarna sjuksköterskors erfarenheter av stress i vårdandet under Covid-19-pandemin. Studie I som syftar till att beskriva nyutexaminerade sjuksköterskors erfarenheter av stress på akutmottagning under pandemin visar att dedikerade sjuksköterskor kämpar för att utvecklas till den sjuksköterska de vill vara i extraordinära situationer och med motstridiga känslor under pandemin. Förlust av kontroll och upplevelser av brister på grund av överbelastning i arbetet i kombination med underbemanning tvingar nyblivna sjuksköterskor in i en självständig roll tidigt i karriären. I studie II som syftar till att belysa innebörden av nyutexaminerade sjuksköterskors erfarenheter av att vårda patienter på akutmottagning under Covid-19-pandemin visar resultatet att sjuksköterskor vårdar genom rumsliga, emotionella och tidsmässiga barriärer. Sjuksköterskor vill vara närvarande, lindra lidande men beskriver omvårdnaden under pandemin som en dold aktivitet, mindre omtalad och lämnad till varje sjuksköterska att genomföra i mån av tid. I studie III som syftar till att utforska vårdpersonals (sjuksköterskors, läkares och undersköterskors) erfarenheter av den förändrade vårdverkligheten av Covid-19-pandemin avslöjar traumatiska upplevelser som tvingar dem att offra moraliska värderingar och bära dilemman inom sig. Erfarenhet av stress var signifikant korrelerad till lägre meningsfullhet och svåra minnen stannar kvar. I studie IV, som syftar till att utforska sjuksköterskors levda erfarenheter av stress i den förändrade vårdverkligheten under Covid-19-pandemin, pekar fynden mot att sjuksköterskor ställdes inför dilemmat att uthärda det outhärdliga och tysta sin inre etiska kompass om vad som utgör god vård. Sammanfattningsvis från sjuksköterskors perspektiv kan stress i vården under Covid-19-pandemin förstås som en vårdandets kamp som innebär kroppslig (fysisk, psykisk och andlig), kunskaps- och etisk stress i sökandet efter mening. Mening finns i gemenskap, med patienter, med kollegor, med nära och kära och i naturen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalens universitet, 2024
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 406
Keywords
Compassion; Ethical stress; Lifeworld; Moral stress; Newly graduated registered nurses; Recovery; Stress of conscience; Stress-related ill health; Suffering
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Care Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-66373 (URN)978-91-7485-644-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-05-24, C3-003, Mälardalens universitet, Eskilstuna, 09:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-04-05 Created: 2024-04-05 Last updated: 2024-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Carnesten, HillewiWiklund Gustin, LenaSkoglund, Karinvon Heideken Wågert, Petra

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