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Enjoying work or burdened by it? How anaesthetists experience and handle difficulties at work: a qualitative study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
2007 (English)In: British Journal of Anaesthesia, ISSN 0007-0912, E-ISSN 1471-6771, Vol. 99, no 4, 493-499 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The aim of this study was to explore difficulties at work from anaesthetists’ own perspective and to examine how anaesthetists handle and cope with situations that are perceived as difficult and potentially stressful.

Methods: Two sets of interviews were conducted with 19 specialist anaesthetists in Sweden. The first set of interviews aimed at finding how the anaesthetists experienced difficulties at work. It consisted of in-depth interviews based on one open-ended question. We analysed the interviews with a phenomenological method, looking for themes in anaesthetists’ descriptions of difficulties at work. In the second set, the interviews were semi-structured with open-ended questions, based on themes found in the first interview set. These interviews aimed at exploring how the interviewees described their ways of handling difficulties and how they coped with potentially stressful situations.

Results: Analysis of the first set of interviews resulted in five themes, describing how the anaesthetists experienced difficulties at work. All interviewees talked about difficulties related to more than one of the themes. The second set of interviews revealed two main categories of ways of handling difficulties. First, problem solving consisted of descriptions of methods for handling difficult situations which aimed at solving problems, and second, coping strategies described ways of appraising potentially stressful situations that minimized stress, despite the problem not being solved.

Conclusions: The anaesthetists interviewed in this study maintained that they enjoyed work and could see no external obstacles to doing a good job. They had arrived at a reconciliation of their work with its inherent difficulties and problems. Getting access to their coping strategies might help young anaesthetists to come to terms with their work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 99, no 4, 493-499 p.
Keyword [en]
anaesthetist, risks, education, junior staff, stress
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92051DOI: 10.1093/bja/aem233ISI: 000250198700006PubMedID: 17704090OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92051DiVA: diva2:164997
Available from: 2004-09-10 Created: 2004-09-10 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Anaesthetists and Professional Excellence: Specialist and Trainee Anaesthetists’ Understanding of their Work as a Basis for Professional Development, a Qualitative Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anaesthetists and Professional Excellence: Specialist and Trainee Anaesthetists’ Understanding of their Work as a Basis for Professional Development, a Qualitative Study
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Why do some anaesthetists perform a better job than others? Why do some trainees grow faster in their professional role than others? These are important questions when the education of anaesthetists is so topical. Research in work pedagogy has shown that competence is related to the way professionals understand their work; the two first interview studies of this thesis are about understanding work. Study I shows that specialist anaesthetists understand work in four different ways, representing four aspects of work. Some of them have a comprehensive understanding, seeing three or all four aspects of work, whereas others have more restricted understandings. In Study II, trainees expressed similar ways of understanding work, some comprehensive, some more restricted. It is important that trainees develop competence in all aspects of work. Therefore, trainees need not only to develop competence by deepening their present understanding, but also by change of understanding, an important but difficult step in competence development.

Reflection is important in professional training. The reflection process should encompass all aspects of work, to enable trainees to develop a broad competence. However, only anaesthetists with a comprehensive way of understanding work have the prerequisites for facilitating trainees’ reflection in all aspects of work.

Study III, focussing on the learning environment, shows that two important principles of professional training are often violated for trainee anaesthetists: making use of the trainee’s curiosity and reducing trainees’ stress level. Trainees very much need support from well educated mentors.

Teachers should not only facilitate trainees’ development of competence but also support young trainees to develop into anaesthetists who enjoy work. Study IV shows that some experienced anaesthetists still enjoy work very much after years of practice. Their advice about how to get to terms with work should be shared with young trainees.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2004. 66 p.
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 0282-7476 ; 1369
Keyword
Health services research, Professional training, competence, anaesthesiology, phenomenography, phenomenology, Hälso- och sjukvårdsforskning
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4518 (URN)91-554-6023-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-10-01, Fåhraeussalen, Rudbecklaboratoriet, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 20, Uppsala, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-09-10 Created: 2004-09-10Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, JanRosenqvist, UrbanHolmström, Inger

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