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Creating a new profession in cancer nursing?: Experiences of working as a psychosocial nurse in cancer care
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 20, no 19-20, 2939-2947 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims. To describe the nature of being a psychosocial nurse in cancer care.

Background. Psychosocial nurses in cancer care are a new profession in cancer nursing in Sweden, with potential to offer unique support to patients regarding somatic and psychological needs. This new profession is hitherto unexplored.

Design. A qualitative inductive interview approach was used.

Methods. A strategic sample of five nurses working as psychosocial nurses in cancer care in Sweden was interviewed. A thematic stepwise analysis was performed.

Results. The analysis revealed the twofold experience of being a psychosocial nurse in cancer care. The nurses felt as if they had two professions: nurse and therapist. They used skills from both professions to help the person, who had cancer and a psychosocial problem. It was stimulating to be able to combine the knowledge and practices of two professions. It was also difficult because they felt an uncertainty about what their roles and responsibilities really were.

Conclusions. This new profession seems to need role descriptions and formal education so that psychosocial nurses receive respect and appreciation in their new and relatively unknown work in cancer care.

Relevance to clinical practices. The adjustment to the cancer disease and treatment side effects can be difficult for the patients and their families, which has highlighted the need for psychosocial support. To meet this need the health care system has to provide such support. Nurses are available and can be successfully educated to handle psychosocial problems among cancer patients. A new profession among nurses is emerging, which the present study aimed at describing. The present findings have potential to make healthcare professionals grasp what the core of psychosocial cancer nursing is, as well as its potential and pitfalls.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 20, no 19-20, 2939-2947 p.
Keyword [en]
cancer care, new profession, psychosocial nurse, qualitative study, working experience
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-146415DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03709.xISI: 000295096700026PubMedID: 21366744OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-146415DiVA: diva2:398113
Available from: 2011-02-16 Created: 2011-02-16 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Arving, CeciliaHolmström, Inger

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