Nursing care as a calling


  • Ritva Raatikainen RN DSocSc PhD

    1. Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki, Lääkärinkatu 8 F, SF-00250 Helsinki, Finland
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A calling is a deep desire to devote oneself to serving people according to the high values of the task or profession. The aim of this study is to clarify the relationship between a calling experience and professional knowledge, nursing action and motivation. The data were collected from all the registered nurses (n=179) at five hospitals. The response was 70%. The nurses who were committed to their profession and experienced their job as a calling, had a good knowledge about the ill feeling and maladjustment of their patients and were also good sources of support for their patients. They understood the importance of family ties and offered support to their patients' families. They were aware of the needs of dying patients and their concern with spiritual questions, and satisfied these needs well. It was characteristic for them to collaborate closely within a team, to experience the content of their work as enriching and to possess proficient professional abilities. They were therefore excellent in supporting both the individual patient and his or her family. They had a deep understanding of the whole process of patient care. According to these results the calling experience is not in conflict with professional principles.