The Human Cost of 'Caring' Care for Registered Nurses in Clinical Practice
This research utilised a focus group methodology to discover what nurses in clinical practice considered 'caring' care meant for them. Six registered nurses volunteered to participate in the project. They practised over a variety of clinical settings within a public hospital, which provided both acute and elective surgical and medical services to the community, including an extensive elderly population. Taking these important 'caring' care statements, I then explored with the group what factors in their work environment hindered or enhanced their identified 'caring' care. New Zealand nurses identified similar themes and concepts important to their 'caring' in clinical practice as did their overseas counterparts. This study also highlighted the impact the health reforms had on individual clinical practice at this hospital. The effects of the institutional changes in response to the health reforms were far reaching at both a personal and professional level. Caring is an important concept found in nursing practice. It has been widely documented by nurse scholars, researchers and nurse authors that care is at the core of nursing practice. Some have even referred to care as being the heart of nursing. The findings from the present research indicates the importance nurses place on caring in their day to day encounters with patients. It also demonstrates how nurses express their care and their perceptions of the importance care has in their clinical practice.