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Of vigilance and invisibility: being a patient in technologically intense environments
Växjö University.
Växjö University.
2007 (English)In: Nursing in Critical Care, ISSN 1362-1017, E-ISSN 1478-5153, Vol. 12, no 3, 151-158 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Equipment and procedures developed during the past several decades have made the modern intensive care unit (ICU) the hospital’s most technologically advanced environment. In terms of patient care, are these advances unmitigated gains? This study aimed to develop a knowledge base of what it means to be critically ill or injured and cared for in technologically intense environments. A lifeworld perspective guided the investigation. Nine unstructured interviews with intensive care patients comprise its data. The qualitative picture uncovered by a phenomenological analysis shows that contradiction and ambivalence characterized the entire care episode. The threat of death overshadows everything and perforates the patient’s existence. Four inter-related constituents further elucidated the patients’ experiences: the confrontation with death, the encounter with forced dependency, an incomprehensible environment and the ambiguity of being an object of clinical vigilance but invisible at the personal level. Neglect of these issues lead to alienating ‘moments’ that compromised care. Fixed at the end of a one-eyed clinical gaze, patients described feeling marginalized, subjected to rituals of power, a stranger cared for by a stranger. The roar of technology silences the shifting needs of ill people, muffles the whispers of death and compromises the competence of the caregivers. This study challenges today’s caregiving system to develop double vision that would balance clinical competence with a holistic, integrated and comprehensive approach to care. Under such vision, subjectivity and objectivity would be equally honoured, and the broken bonds re-forged between techne, ‘the act of nursing’, and poesis, ‘the art of nursing’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd. , 2007. Vol. 12, no 3, 151-158 p.
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-7427DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-5153.2007.00216.xLocal ID: 2320/6980OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-7427DiVA: diva2:888289
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2017-02-02Bibliographically approved

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Fridlund, BengtEkebergh, Margaretha
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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