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Nursing Together: A Grounded Theoy of Acquiring Self Identity that Motivates or Obstructs Hospital Nurses to Work After Injury



Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine motivations and obstacles experienced by hospital nurses who endeavor to work after injury by focusing on the injury experience, work climate, risk of re-injury, workers' compensation, and issues related to personal lifestyle. Background/Significance: Nurses represent the largest group of hospital workers and experience some of the highest numbers of work-related injuries. Injuries not only cause physical and emotional harm but reduce the number of available hospital nurses and can create socioeconomic hardships for workers and their families. Methods: Motivations and Obstacles to Work for the Injured Hospital Nurse (MORE Nurses study), used ground theory methodology analysis including coding and conceptualization were used in the analysis of the data. Nurses (n = 16) from two different settings were interviewed. Findings: Participants reported fear of injury based on their own experiences and witnessing career ending injuries to co-workers. Many reported altruistic motivations relating to their work as a calling. They were reluctant to report an injury for reasons including their identity, stigma for disability, desensitization of self needs, and loyalty to patient care. Therefore, many nurses reported working with injuries, self-modifying their work duties when possible. Similarities and differences in perceptions of nurses revealed the importance co-worker relationships play in the injured nurses' ability to maintain work. Three conceptual sub-categories emerged from the data. From them, the conceptual description of Nursing Together represented the connections nurses share which motivate them to work. Conclusions: Nurses are compelled to do their work based on deep beliefs related to the importance of caring for another human being in need. The degree to which nurses personally connect with nursing as something more than a job, influences their perseverance to maintain work, the quality of the patient care they delivery, where they chose to work, and how they connect with co-workers. These connections are essential in determining whether nurses will find ways to nurse together as an identity; nurse together as a consequence of injury; or nurse together in the physically and emotionally demanding hospital setting.

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