Patients' participation is essential to their well-being and sense of coherence, as well as to their understanding of and adherence to prescribed treatments. Ward rounds serve as a forum for sharing information between patient and caregiver. The purpose of the ward round is to obtain information and plan medical and nursing care through staff-patient communication.
AIM AND OBJECTIVE:
The aim and objective of this study was to investigate patients' experiences during the ward round and their ability to participate in their care.
METHODOLOGICAL DESIGN AND JUSTIFICATION:
The study was qualitative and descriptive in design. Fourteen inpatients at a cardiovascular ward were interviewed. Qualitative content analysis was used for the analysis.
ETHICAL ISSUES AND APPROVAL:
The ethics of scientific work were adhered to. Each study participant gave his/her informed consent based on verbal and written information. The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee at Uppsala University.
The analysis revealed one theme and three subthemes related to patients' experiences of ward rounds. The main theme was handling of information from the daily ward round while waiting for private consultation. The subthemes were making the best of the short time spent on ward rounds; encountering traditional roles and taking comfort in staff competency; and being able to choose the degree to which one participates in the decision-making process.
Several aspects of traditional ward round routines could be improved in regard to the two-way information exchange process between caregivers and patient. Patients' and caregivers' ability to communicate their goals and the environment in which the communication occurs are of great importance. The information provided by nurses is easier to understand than that provided by physicians. The atmosphere must be open; the patient should be treated with empathy by staff; and patients' right to participate must be acknowledged by all healthcare professionals involved.
2014. Vol. 28, no 2, 297-304 p.