• perioperative nursing care;
  • perioperative dialogue;
  • nurse anaesthetist;
  • operating-room nurse;
  • continuity

Background. Previous research has shown that perioperative visiting can aid the planning and implementation of nursing care by giving patients an opportunity to express their expectation and to receive information. This is in turn can reduce anxiety and stress. However, patients and nurses’ experiences of this process have not been studied before.

Aim. The aim of the research was to describe and interpret the meaning of nursing care experienced by patients and nurse anaesthetists or operating-room nurses (referred to as perioperative nurses) through the pre-, intra- and postoperative dialogues.

Methods. A hermeneutic approach was used when interpreting text from interviews with 10 patients after the operation and 10 nurses who were asked to write down their experiences after having conducted pre-, intra- and postoperative dialogues with their patients. The interpretation of the whole was: the common quality of the pre-, intra- and postoperative dialogues was continuity and the distinguishing quality was how the patient and nurse experienced continuity.

Findings. Continuity in ‘the perioperative dialogue’ from the patients’ point of view is expressed as sharing a story and the body is in safe hands. From the nurses’ point of view continuity means that professional nursing care becomes visible and that continuity gives meaning to the work.

Conclusion. If perioperative nurses used the perioperative dialogue they could create continuity for patients and for themselves in the pre-, intra- and postoperative phases. The nurse is, in this context, the continuity and continuity gives the possibility of establishing a caring relationship and caring for the patient in a dignified way.