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Nurses' experiences of abusive/non-abusive caring for demented patients in acute care settings

Authors


Britt-Inger Saveman, Kalmar University, S-39182 Kalmar, Sweden. E-mail: britt-inger.saveman@hik.se

Abstract

Nurses' experiences of abusive/non-abusive caring for demented patients in acute care settings

Nurses caring for patients with dementia in acute care settings often lack specialized education in geriatric nursing. The acute care settings do not have an environment made for dementia care. The staff often had a high workload, which makes the situation stressful and the nurses who take care of these patients might end up in difficult situations. The aim of this study was to describe nurses' experiences of difficulties related to caring for patients with dementia in acute care settings. Interviews were performed with 12 nurses. Qualitative thematic content analyses were carried out in several steps. The results show that the nurses experienced various difficulties in meeting patients with dementia in acute care settings. This gave rise to for example frustration. Most commonly reported was lack of time to treat these patients satisfactorily. The difficulties were mostly related to the often disorderly conduct of these patients, the ethical problems that appeared in the care of these patients, and the medical care organization. The problematic situations described sometimes led to abuse and neglect of these patients.

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