Registered nurses’ experiences of caring for the elderly in different health-care areas

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Caring for elderly patients is an undertaking for a majority of Swedish nurses in different health-care sectors. The purpose of the study was to understand how nurses experienced the meaning of caring for elderly patients after 2 years as Registered Nurses. Interviews were conducted with 20 nurses 2 years after graduation. Data were analysed with a phenomenological–hermeneutic method and resulted in two themes: (i) providing the elderly with a sense of trust; and (ii) commitment to elderly patients. Each theme was made up of four subthemes, expressing both positive and negative aspects. Caring for the elderly means that the core of caring is in focus. Nurses need a supportive context for their care of the elderly, especially when they experience that they or their staff cannot provide the optimal quality of care for the patients.

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