The human being behind the disease : A qualitative study of nurses’ view upon caring for patients with HIV in Colombia
Background: In 2014, 1.2 million people died from HIV related causes around the world. Colombia ranks second in HIV prevalence in Latin America and the number of people infected with HIV in Colombia increases. One of the reasons for the increase is the stigmatization and discrimination against patients infected with HIV that exists. Nurses are human beings, influenced by their surroundings, with personal beliefs and preconceptions and may, if not being aware of these preconceptions and personal beliefs, help supporting stigmatization and discrimination.
Aim: The aim with this study was to describe how Colombian nurses view upon caring for patients with HIV.
Method: A qualitative approach was being used in this empirical study. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews with six Colombian nurses at an infection unit in a university hospital. The interviews were transcribed and later analysed by using a qualitative content analysis.
Results: The findings resulted in three major themes: Nurses’ reflections on attitudes towards HIV, The role and responsibilities of a nurse and Nurses’ thoughts regarding the patients, the disease and the profession. The first theme illustrates how the nurses reflect upon the attitudes within the society, the patients’ family and the patients’ attitudes towards themselves. The second theme describes how the nurses worked with patients with HIV. In the third theme, the nurses reflect upon their previous experiences, the future and the profession.
Discussion: Based on the result from the interviews, the factors influencing ones’ values and preconceptions were discussed. Some of these factors are religious and moral beliefs, lack of education and experience.
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