"You are not at all bothersome" - nurses' online communication with testicular cancer patients

NI 2012 (2012). 2012 Jun 23;2012:453. eCollection 2012.

Abstract

To some extent, electronic communication has supplemented nurses' face-to-face contact with patients over the last few years. In this paper, we report findings from a study in which we examined cancer nurses' answers to messages from testicular cancer patients in a nurse-managed online patient-provider communication service. The aim of the study was to investigate how nurses manage to meet patients' different questions and concerns, and what aspects of expert nursing care are demonstrated when they communicate with patients online. The content of the messages formed a continuum from practical to existential issues. In their answers, the nurses demonstrated an ability to make reflected choices between both support modalities and means of communication. The professional knowledge and care of expert cancer nurses were clearly exposed in the nurses' answers, although they were good at adapting their professional language so that it would be understandable to the patients.