Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Caring for elder patients : mutual vulnerabilities in professional ethics
Authors: Nordström, Karin
Wangmo, Tenzin
et. al: No
DOI: 10.1177/0969733016684548
Published in: Nursing Ethics
Volume(Issue): 25
Issue: 8
Page(s): 1004
Pages to: 1016
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2018
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Sage
ISSN: 0969-7330
Language: English
Subjects: Abuse; Care of elders; Neglect; Nursing staff; Professional ethics; Vulnerability
Subject (DDC): 305: Groups (age, origine, gender, income)
362: Health and social services
Abstract: Background: Neglect and abuse of elders in care institutions is a recurring issue in the media. Elders in care institutions are vulnerable due to their physical, cognitive, and verbal limitations. Such vulnerabilities may make them more susceptible to mistreatment by caregivers on whom they are heavily dependent. Objectives: The goal was to understand caregivers’ concerns about ensuring correct and proper treatment, as well as their experiences with neglect and abuse of older patients. This article examines resources and challenges of professional ethics within the care setting. Research design: A study was conducted to explore the quality of care provided to older patients in nursing homes, geriatrics institutions, and ambulant care in the northwest region of Switzerland. Participants and research context: A total of 23 semi-structured interviews were conducted with nursing staff of varying experience levels. Ethical considerations: Ethical approval was granted by the competent regional ethics commission, Ethikkomission Nordwest-und Zentralschweiz EKNZ [Ethics Commission Northwest and Central Switzerland] (2014-015). Findings: Three themes emerged from our data analysis: professional identity, professional context, and professional relationships. Our findings indicate mutual vulnerabilities within these three themes, characterizing the interactions between nursing staff and older patients. Study participants believe that incidences of error, neglect, and abuse are consequences of their own vulnerability since they are not able to meet the demands of an overstraining work situation. Discussion: Different aspects of this mutual vulnerability are described and critically discussed as challenges for professional ethics. Conclusion: Early education, continuous training as well as better management and response from the institution are necessary to maintain professionalism while handling mutual vulnerabilities.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Health Sciences
Organisational Unit: Institute of Public Health (IPH)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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