• caregivers;
  • hospitals;
  • interaction;
  • nursing;
  • patient care

Laitinen H, Kaunonen M, Åstedt-Kurki P. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2011; 17: 388–395

When time matters: The reality of patient care in acute care settings

The purpose of the study was to investigate the reality of patient care in acute care settings when the patients' stay in the hospital was relatively short. The study was conducted by using the grounded theory method with constant comparative analysis. The sample comprised patients (n = 43) participating, relatives and hospital staff. The data were collected by participant observation, including informal interviews in natural settings, and by reviewing participating patients' electronic patient records. The main findings are presented in three categories: patients' endurance, interface and broken interface (along with several subcategories). The study showed that even with time pressures, good health care was delivered. However, it also showed some challenging issues for improvement. The study concluded that it is crucial for caregivers to focus on interactive patient care.