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ThesisUniversity of Akureyri>Heilbrigðisvísindasvið>Meistaraprófsritgerðir>

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/1218


Ward sisters´perception of their role : phenomenological study


The role of ward sisters (WSs) is considered pivotal in the hospital setting
today. This role has been described as essential to the success of nursing
services, the effectiveness of health care organizations and the quality of
nursing care. The environment of the health care system has changed
dramatically over the past two decades, directly affecting the work
environment of WSs. These changes have led to the recognition of the pivotal
role of WSs as being the link between the executive management of the
health care organization and the nursing staff on the units.
The purpose of the study was to describe the lived experience of WSs in
today’s health care environment. Phenomenology was the research approach
and in-depth dialogues were used for data collection. The dialogues were
analysed according to van Manen’s (1990) approach. Three main themes
emerged with several subthemes that further described the phenomenon. The
participants were seven female ward sisters with variable work experience, all
working at the same major hospital in Iceland. The participants volunteered to
take part in the study and most of the dialogues took place outside their
immediate work environment during June 2001 through December 2001. The
findings indicated that the participants experienced enormous responsibilities in
relation to staffing and running the units, especially today during this transitional
time of the health care system. Lack of clear strategy from top management
and/or inconsistency in following set strategy was found to be a hindrance in
the job of the WSs. Emotional involvement was considerable and the
participants felt that they needed more support from the organisation in order to
perform effectively. Based on the findings, it is concluded that the WSs
constantly reshape and re-evaluate the work on their units and lead their staff
on towards the goals of the hospital organization. This is often a rewarding
experience but also emotionally draining. The WSs need specific support,
according to their career level in order to function effectively. Limitations are
addressed as well as implications for nursing education, nursing research,
nursing administration and hospital administration.


Verkefnið er opið nemendum og starfsfólki Háskólans á Akureyri


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