Delivering direct patient care in the haemodialysis unit: A focused ethnographic study of care delivery
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Wood, A., Tocher, J. & Rodgers, S. (2019) Delivering direct patient care in the haemodialysis unit: A focused ethnographic study of care delivery. Journal of Research in Nursing, 24(8), pp. 712-725.
Background: Direct patient care is a term used within nursing and healthcare to help quantify and qualify care delivery. Direct patient care time is considered as a valuable measure by healthcare providers to indicate efficiency and to quantify nursing work, however little is understood of the patient experience and care delivery in haemodialysis settings.Aim: The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of patients’ and nursing staff perceptions and experiences of ‘direct patient care’ within one haemodialysis unit.Methods: A focused ethnographic approach utilised participant observations, informal questioning, photographs and 27 semi-structured interviews of registered nurses, clinical support workers and patients. Observation notes and interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed.Results: The key finding was the construction and reconceptualisation of care delivery in this setting. Care was identified to be delivered in two distinct ways, both of which allowed patients to feel cared for. ‘Active care’ where patients feel cared for when they are being dealt with directly by staff and ‘Passive care’ where patients feel cared for through staff availability and visibility.Conclusion: Developing this understanding of patient care delivery in this specialism has highlighted some important aspects to the way care can be delivered which challenges current traditional understandings of direct patient care. Time spent with a patient is not the only important consideration to patient experience in haemodialysis. This understanding of passive care could improve care experiences in this setting.