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Keywords:

  • health care;
  • nursing;
  • phenomenological psychological method;
  • phenomenological-hermeneutical method

The aims of this study were to describe a group of nurses’ influence on the quality of care in postoperative pain management and to elucidate the meaning of exercising this influence. Fifteen protocols, written by experienced clinical nurses, describing complex postoperative pain situations where the nurses’ actions influenced the outcome were analysed by using two different phenomenological methods. The results showed that the general meaning structure of the nurses’ influence on the quality of care in postoperative pain management consisted of (i) the nurses’ perception of an unsatisfactory situation concerning the pain management of the surgical patients; (ii) that the nurses personally intervened; and (iii) that they changed the outcome of the situation in a positive direction. The meaning of exercising this influence was interpreted as an aspiration to relieve the patients from their suffering by exercising professional skills and knowledge in a creative, problem-solving, caring process.