Aim. The aim of the study was to illuminate the experience of nurses in relieving postoperative nausea and vomiting.
Background. Postoperative nausea and vomiting has been shown to be one of the most common and distressing side effects of surgery. In spite of this, there has been little research on the role of nurses in caring for patients with postoperative nausea and vomiting.
Design. Qualitative approach using narratives.
Methods. Ten female nurses from two general surgical departments were interviewed. The transcribed interviews were analysed using the hermeneutic narrative method inspired by Polkinghorne.
Results. The nurses report that they have what may be described as a set of different tools at their disposal. These tools can be entitled 'listen and understand', 'information', 'the clinical eye' and 'availability', all of which can be used in solving several needs. However, some nurses have better skills or more opportunities to use the available tools than do others. By using these tools, the nurses can increase their possibilities for enhancing the patients' efforts to gain control over their own situation and thereby increase the quality of their care.
Conclusion. Nurses use different types of tools to relieve postoperative nausea and vomiting and it is possible to create a positive nursing care situation if patients are given the opportunity to be in control and handle their own situation.
Relevance to clinical practice. When it comes to relieving postoperative nausea and vomiting, the findings of this study are important as the study highlights the practical actions taken by nurses and their experiences. When nurses have the possibility to use their nursing tools in an optimal way, together with their experience and knowledge and then follow their nursing actions by being able to reflect on them, they can further develop their approach to nursing and thereby increase their competence as nurses.
2010. Vol. 19, no 13-14, 1865-1872 p.
narrative method • nursing care • nursing experience • postoperative nausea and vomiting