The purpose of this study was to explore patients' understandings and feelings of safety during hospitalization. A qualitative design using a thematic analysis approach was used to gather and analyze the understandings of 19 patients (11 male and 8 female) hospitalized in medical and surgical wards of a teaching hospital in an urban area of Iran. After employing purposive sampling for the selection of participants, semistructured interviews were held for data collection. Three main themes emerged from the data analysis: from attention to recovery, becoming hopeful of life, and maintaining life routines. The second theme consisted of two subthemes: not to be forgotten and becoming optimistic toward health-care settings. Supporting mechanisms designed to improve the feeling of safety in hospitalized patients should consider the patient as a whole and emphasize the humanistic aspect of patient care. In addition we conclude that nurses need to learn to assume a leadership role in patient safety.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.