Being a non-urgent patient in an emergency care unit--a strive to maintain personal integrity

Accid Emerg Nurs. 2003 Jan;11(1):22-6. doi: 10.1016/s0965-2302(02)00135-2.


The aim of this study was to analyse and describe experiences of being a non-urgent patient in an ECU (emergency care unit). Eleven non-urgent patients were interviewed. The research approach was inductive and interpretative. Seven tentative interpretations and an interpreted whole, i.e., an existential interpretation, revealed that the informants tried to be 'good' patients by not demanding much attention from nursing personnel, in an attempt to maintain good relations with the nurses in order to be assured of a positive reception. As health related problems jeopardize personal integrity, patients cannot afford the risk of being looked upon as inappropriate clients in the ECU.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Emergency Nursing
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Female
  • Hospital-Patient Relations
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Sweden