Scand J Caring Sci; 2011; 25; 235–242
The meanings and implications of receiving care
The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the concept of receiving care, from the perspective of the general public, nursing students and graduate nurses. The need for, and acceptance of care can occur at many different times during a human life and is sometimes necessary for survival. Experiences of receiving care are often retained as a tacit and subconscious awareness and knowledge. It is reasonable to expect that perceptions of receiving care can differ depending on different situation and experiences. Data were gathered by a questionnaire containing an open-ended question, which were presented to and answered by the general public, nursing students and graduate nurses. Content analysis was used to analyse the question posed. Having analysed the data, one main theme could be identified; being of value despite any potential disadvantages which include both edifying and not very edifying aspects. This study demonstrates that if one is in need of receiving care, there are not many choices available. Those requiring care must accept the situation and be prepared to leave themselves in the hands of caregivers. Receiving care highlights the human mode of being, which includes experiences of being exposed, which in turn motivates a seeking for valued and appreciated mutual interactions within the caring process. Within current nursing practice, our findings confirm the necessity of nurses to be fully aware of the importance of mutuality when giving care to patients. It is essential that modern nursing education continuously review the many complex aspects involved in the giving of, and receiving care.