Title. The essence of nursing care: Polish nurses’ perspectives
Aim. This paper is a report of a study to identify Polish nurses’ definition of the concept of nursing care.
Background. Polish nursing currently is in a period of scientific research focusing on development of precise definitions of concepts. Definitions of nursing are influenced by culture, social expectations and healthcare systems. Accepted scientific definitions of concepts should be based on empirical verification that takes theoretical and practical perspectives into account.
Methods. A survey questionnaire was constructed from analysis of a random sample of 27 essays about nursing care that had been completed by 300 Polish nurses. The survey questionnaire, which was designed to measure the essence of nursing care, was completed by 324 Polish nurses during 2004 and 2005.
Findings. Analysis of survey questionnaire responses revealed that the essence of nursing care encompasses providing care, communicating, supporting, helping, assisting, accompanying and managing. Participants indicated that nursing care recipients include healthy persons, ill persons and persons at risk for disease.
Conclusion. The concept of nursing care encompasses several traits or characteristics that can be applied to both well and ill people.