Nurses' ethical reflections on caring for people with malodorous exuding ulcers

Nursing Ethics 17 (6):777-790 (2010)

Abstract
The aim of this study was to illuminate nurses’ reflections on obstacles to and possibilities for providing care as desired by people with malodorous exuding ulcers. Six nurses who took part in a previous study were interviewed. The participants were shown an illustration with findings from a study that elucidated the meaning of living with malodorous exuding ulcers. They were asked to reflect on the obstacles to and possibilities of providing the care desired by the patients. Twelve audio-recorded transcribed interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Our interpretations of participants’ reflections on the obstacles and possibilities while caring for such patients revealed one theme: striving to ‘do good’ and ‘be good’. The obstacles were formulated as subthemes: experiencing clinical competence constraints, experiencing organizational constraints, experiencing ineffective communication, fearing failure, and experiencing powerlessness. The possibilities were formulated by the subthemes: spreading knowledge about ulcer treatments, considering wholeness, and creating clear channels of communication. A multiprofessional team could overcome the identified obstacles and provide structure, competencies, commitment and support to ‘do good’ for patients and ‘be good’ nurses
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DOI 10.1177/0969733010379181
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