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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R33N20T58
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Orchestrating Care: Nursing practice with hospitalized older adults Open Access
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Background: The increased incidence of health challenges with aging means that nurses are increasingly caring for older adults, often in hospital settings. Research about the complexity of nursing practice with this population remains limited.
Objective: To seek an explanation of nursing practice with hospitalized older adults.
Methods: Design. A grounded theory study guided by symbolic interactionism was used to explore nursing practice with hospitalized older adults from a nursing perspective.
Glaserian grounded theory methods were used to develop a mid-range theory after analysis of 375 hours of participant observation, 35 interviews with 24 participants, and review of selected documents.
Results: The theory of Orchestrating Care was developed to explain how nurses are continuously trying to manage their work environments by understanding the status of the patients on their unit, mobilizing the assistance of others, and stretching available resources to resolve their problem of providing their older patients with what they perceived as “good care” while sustaining themselves as “good” nurses. They described their practice environments as hard and under-resourced. Orchestrating care is comprised of two subprocesses - building synergy and minimizing strain. These two processes both facilitated and constrained each other and nurses’ abilities to orchestrate care.
Conclusions: Although system issues presented serious constraints to nursing practice, the ways in which nurses were making meaning of their work environment both aided them in managing their challenges and served to constrain their agency.
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