At home with meaning: older persons’ meaning in life, good home nursing and nurse education
Publicatie van Kenniscentrum Zorginnovatie
S.H.A. Hupkens | Proefschrift | Publicatiedatum: 26 april 2021
For this research project I had the opportunity to join home nurses on their rounds for participant observations. Nurses are confronted with older patient’s meaning in life (MiL), or the lack thereof, on a daily basis. However, knowledge about these situations, and education regarding this subject, is largely missing until now. Nurses of a homecare provider in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) realised that they felt incompetent in situations where patient’s MiL came to the front. They had many questions: What could they say? What could they observe? What could they do? Was it right what they did? And, who could help them? The nurses turned to spiritual counsellors of a nursing home, asking them if they could provide support. This PhD project started in practice, like many projects in applied science, with nurses, spiritual counsellors and researchers who wanted to improve practice. In this project two spiritual counsellors provided education to home nurses, in order to make them more sensitive and competent in attuning care to patient’s MiL, which was a novel practice in the Netherlands in 2015. Research was part of the project from the outset. I was the main researcher in a research team and participated in the project group. And so our journey started. The name of my thesis ‘At home with meaning’, not only refers to MiL of older adults ageing in place but also to the aim of the project: the wish that home nurses should feel more at home, more confident, in providing good care when they find themselves confronted with older patients’ MiL.