BACKGROUND: Ambulance clinicians (ACs) have to provide advanced care and treatment to patients in a challenging and emotionally demanding environment, therefore they establish interpersonal relationships embracing both patients and significant others. Relationships in emergency care were earlier found to be short-lived and lacking a holistic understanding of the patient. In their relationship with the ambulance clinicians, it is for patients to surrender and become dependent, which may be interpreted as both a negative and a positive experience.
AIM: The aim of this study was to elucidate ambulance clinicians' experiences of relationships with patients and significant others.
METHODS: Data were collected from four focus group conversations, with a total of 18 participating ambulance clinicians. An inductive qualitative content analysis method was chosen.
FINDINGS: The analysis resulted in one main category: 'To be personal in a professional role' and three generic categories: 'To be there for the affected person', 'To be personally involved' and 'To have a professional mission'. There were subsequently nine sub-categories. The main category was described as intertwining the experience of being both personal and professional. The ambulance clinicians adapt to a situation while having the affected person in focus. They involve themselves as persons but at the same time use the power of their professional role.
CONCLUSION: The relationship with patients and significant others from the ambulance clinicians' perspective can be understood as embracing both personal and professional aspects.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study provides an understanding of the ambulance clinicians' professional role as embracing a personal perspective, which is important when developing an emergency ambulance service focusing on care that involves more than just emergency medical treatment.
2016. Vol. 21, no 4, E16-E23 p.
Ambulance care; Ambulance clinicians; Focus groups; Nursing; Professional relationship