• Rikke Godske Andersen
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
The aim of this thesis is to examine socially vulnerable patient’s experiences when meeting with nurses. Existing research in this field is highly limited, since it does not specifically conduct an analysis of meetings with nurses. Therefore this thesis will conduct an elaborate examination of how those patients experience the meeting during hospitalization or outpatient treatments at a somatic hospital. As a result, the goal is to provide an answer to the following research question:
How does a socially vulnerable patient experience meeting with a nurse during hospitalization or an outpatient treatment at a somatic hospital?
This thesis I based on a critical hermeneutic scientific theoretical approach with empirical data from qualitative research from five semi-structured interviews with socially vulnerable patients. Furthermore, three videos containing stories from socially vulnerable people who have experienced meeting with nurses during hospitalization or other treatments are included. Those videos are from existing research in the field, and they are included to support the empirical data. In the analysis, the empirical data is confronted with a theoretical perspective constituted by Axel Honneth’s theory of recognition. The theory of recognition is used to display socially vulnerable patient’s experiences of recognition and misrecognition.
The finding of this thesis shows that socially vulnerable patients have divergent experiences in meeting with nurses. They expressed both recognition and misrecognition.
Those patients who experienced recognition expressed that nurses were involving them in every single part of their treatment. They also said that they were properly informed about their treatment and rights. The findings shows that it was highly important that nurses showed care and compassion, and met them with dignity.
On the contrary, patients experiencing misrecognition conveyed, that they felt violated by the nurse when they were left out of decision-making regarding their treatment. In relation, several patients felt that they were not being granted permission to act on their own behalf. Also the nurses made them feel like they could not do anything right. Consequently, two patients chose to leave the hospital.
In conclusion, the findings regarding both recognition and misrecognition show the same result: recognition by the nurse is essential to a good relationship between nurse and patient. As a result, recognition will help patients gaining confidence in themselves.
In cases where the nurse managed to establish a good relationship, recognition was the foundation. Oppositely, cases of misrecognition emerge when there is absence of recognition.
In relation to the findings, a discussion about the development of social work in nursing is conducted. For the sake of not making patients feel misrecognized, it is argued that nurses should be taught about how to manage socially vulnerable patients. Nurses would possibly become aware of patients’ experiences of misrecognition. Accordingly, ‘learning’ is a cornerstone to an improved relationship between nurse and patient.
Publication dateMar 2015
Number of pages91
ID: 208957954