To explore the delivery of care from the perspective of patients with acute abdominal pain focusing on the contextual factors at system level using the Fundamentals of Care framework.
The Fundamentals of Care framework describes several contextual and systemic factors that can impact the delivery of care. To deliver high-quality, person-centred care, it is important to understand how these factors affect patients' experiences and care needs.
A focused ethnographic approach.
A total of 20 observations were performed on two surgical wards at a Swedish university hospital. Data were collected using participant observation and informal interviews and analysed using deductive content analysis.
The findings, presented in four categories, reflect the value patients place on the caring relationship and a friendly atmosphere on the ward. Patients had concerns about the environment, particularly the high-tempo culture on the ward and its impact on their integrity, rest and sleep, access to information and planning, and need for support in addressing their existential thoughts. The observers also noted that missed nursing care had serious consequences for patient safety.
Patients with acute abdominal pain were cared for in the high-tempo culture of a surgical ward with limited resources, unclear leadership and challenges to patients' safety. The findings highlight the crucial importance of prioritising and valuing the patients' fundamental care needs for recovery.
Nursing leaders and nurses need to take the lead to reconceptualise the value of fundamental care in the acute care setting. To improve clinical practice, the value of fundamentals of care must be addressed regardless of patient's clinical condition. Providing a caring relationship is paramount to ensure a positive impact on patient's well-being and recovery.