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Caught in an Artificial Split: A Phenomenological Study of Being a Caregiver in the Technologically Intense Environment
Växjö University.
University of Borås, School of Health Science.
2007 (English)In: Intensive & Critical Care Nursing, ISSN 0964-3397, E-ISSN 1532-4036, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 130-136Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A symbiotic relationship exists between technology and caring, however, technologically advanced environments challenge caregivers. The aim of this study is to uncover the meaning of being a caregiver in the technologically intense environment. Ten open-ended interviews with intensive care personnel comprise the data. A phenomenological analysis shows that ambiguity abounds in the setting. The act of responsibly reading and regulating instruments easily melds the patient and the machinery into one clinical picture. The fusion skews the balance between objective distance and interpersonal closeness. The exciting captivating lure of technological gadgets seduces the caregivers and lulls them into a fictive sense of security and safety. It is mind-boggling and heart-rending to juggle ‘moments’ of slavish mastery and security menaced by insecurity in the act of monitoring a machine while caring for a patient. Whenever the beleaguered caregiver splits technique from human touch, ambiguity decays into ambivalence. Caring and technology become polarized. Everyone loses. Caregiver competence wanes; patients suffer. The intensive care unit should be technologically sophisticated, but also build-in a disclosive space where solace, trust, and reassurance naturally happen. Caring professionals need to balance state-of-the-art technology with integrated and comprehensive care and harmonize the demands of subjectivity with objective signs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Churchill Livingstone , 2007. Vol. 24, no 2, p. 130-136
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy Social Sciences
Research subject
Människan i vården
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-7426DOI: 10.1016/j.iccn.2007.08.003Local ID: 2320/6981OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-7426DiVA, id: diva2:888288
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Fridlund, BengtEkebergh, Margaretha

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