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Balancing between familiarity and professionalism in caring for older persons: A phenomenological study from the perspective of nursing students
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4319-4584
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Birmingham City University, Westbourne Road, Birmingham B15 3TN, United Kingdom.
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2023 (English)In: Nurse Education in Practice, ISSN 1471-5953, E-ISSN 1873-5223, Vol. 71, article id 103695Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: To describe the meaning of caring for older persons based on the experiences of nursing students in Greece. Background: The present study is conducted based on a caring science perspective derived from a holistic viewpoint of human beings, aiming to support the well-being of older persons. In Greece, informal caregivers play an important role in caring for older people; however, as the population ages, the need for registered nurses specialising in caring for older people is also increasing. Previous research in other countries has reported a relative lack of interest in this field, which is a threat to the quality of care. To ensure an adequate number of new-generation nurses caring for older people, nursing students’ perceptions of the phenomenon of caring for older persons should be well understood and explored in a context where the number of long-term care beds and residential care facilities are low and where informal caregiving is common. Design: Based on Descriptive Phenomenology, in line with the Reflective Lifeworld Research (RLR) approach. Methods: A total of 12 nursing students at a university in Greece underwent in-depth lifeworld interviews online during June and July 2021 and March 2022; Interviews were transcribed verbatim and were analysed according to the principles of RLR that approaches the phenomena with openness and constant reflection. The participants were students in their fourth or fifth year of nursing education; they had previous experience in older person care and were not acquainted with the authors. Results: The results show the essential structure of the meaning of caring for older persons, where otherness consists of intertwined demanding and rewarding elements. The essence is further conveyed by three constituents: otherness of the older person: witnessing someone's vulnerability; trustful caring: struggling with normative structures; and closeness and distance: balancing between familiarity and professionalism. Conclusion: To ensure quality of care for older persons in the future, an understanding of how nursing students describe their experiences of caring for older persons during education is important. Balancing between familiarity and professionalism highlights the need for further reflection on professionalism and dignity and identifying the norms and values helps to highlight particularities of the context and national healthcare system. Curricula focusing on cultivating students’ preunderstanding, regarding caring for older persons are required to promote a higher quality of care in the future. Caring science can contribute to a focus on a holistic perspective in caring for older people. Tweetable abstract: There is an ever-increasing need for educated nurses in the field of caring for older people. With the lack of interest in this field of nursing, the overall quality of care is impacted. This study describes the meaning of caring for older persons based on the experiences of nursing students in the Greek health care system. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023. Vol. 71, article id 103695
Keywords [en]
Education, Greece, Health care, Informal caregivers, Nurses, Nursing care, Nursing students, Older adults, Qualitative research methods, aged, article, care behavior, caregiver, clinical article, female, genetic transcription, health care system, human, human dignity, human experiment, interview, intimacy, long term care, male, nurse, nursing education, nursing student, perception, phenomenology, professionalism, qualitative research, registered nurse, residential care, vulnerability, wellbeing
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
The Human Perspective in Care
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-30251DOI: 10.1016/j.nepr.2023.103695ISI: 001037472500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85164317659OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-30251DiVA, id: diva2:1787871
Available from: 2023-08-15 Created: 2023-08-15 Last updated: 2024-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Xiarchi, LampriniPalmér, LinaNässén, KristinaLindberg, Elisabeth

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