The journey between ideal and real: Experiences of beginners psychiatric nurses

Hamidreza Khankeh, Davoud Khorasani-Zavareh, Seyaid-Ali Hoseini, Mohammad-Reza Khodai-Ardekandi, Sirkka-Liisa Ekman, Katarina Bohm, Maryam Nakhaie, Maryam Ranjbar, Maaret Castrén




Background: Understanding how novice nurses perceive their career in the psychiatric ward can be helpful for nurse educators and managers to gain insight into psychiatric nursing care and adding applicable knowledge to the development of support strategies for this group. The aim of this study was to describe and illuminate experiences of new graduated nurses working at a psychiatric ward in an Iranian context.

Materials and Methods: A descriptive phenomenology has been chosen. Participants with baccalaureate degrees in nursing were selected purposefully and they all had less than 6 months of work experience in psychiatric wards beforehand. The study was conducted at the Razi Hospital in Iran. Data were collected through unstructured individual in-depth interviews and analyzed according to the Colaizzi method by means of Husserlian phenomenology.

Results: Three main themes were found in this study, of which six sub-themes were constructed as follows: Being in the world of fear and complaint, which has been abstracted by having mixed feelings of confl ict and compliant on entry to the psychiatric ward, doubt about adequacy of being a psychiatric nurse and working in psychiatric ward and a frightening and non-supportive environment; A sense of imprisoned and confi ned, which has been constructed by different experience with different environmental milieu in psychiatric ward, as a lock sense; Becoming a psychiatric nurse, which has been constructed as a sense of usefulness, a sense of sympathy and compassion for patients and a sense of professional identity.

Conclusions: This study identifi ed areas that require modifi cation by providing insight into lived experiences of beginners’ nurses as the value in psychiatric ward. New graduated nurses may face negative perceptions and feelings due to confrontation with a new environment, patients and colleagues as well as shortcomings in the preparation.

Key words: Beginners’ nurses, iran, phenomenology, psychiatric ward, qualitative research

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