Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nurs Ethics. 2007 Jul;14(4):522-34.

Compassion and responsibility in surgical care.

Author information

  • 1Sør-Trøndelag University College, Faculty of Nursing, Trondheim, Norway.


Ten nurses at a university hospital in Norway were interviewed as part of a comprehensive investigation into the narratives of nurses and physicians about being in ethically difficult situations in surgical units. The transcribed interview texts were subjected to a phenomenological-hermeneutic interpretation. The main theme in the narratives was being close to and moved by the suffering of patients and relatives. The nurses' responsibility for patients and relatives was expressed as a commitment to act, and they needed to ask themselves whether their responsibility had been fulfilled, that nothing had been left undone, overlooked or neglected, before they could leave the unit. When there was confirmation by the patients, relatives, colleagues and themselves that the needs of patients and relatives had been attended to in a morally and professionally satisfying manner, this increased the nurses' confidence and satisfaction in their work, and their strength to live with the burden of being in ethically difficult situations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk