Research

Everyone loves the ‘poppets’ – but do we treat other patients like ‘parcels’?

In this important paper by Jill Maben, she continues her research into the relationship between staff working conditions and the patients’ experience of care.

Variation in patient experience is significantly influenced by staff work experiences. A high-demand/low-control work environment, poor staffing, ward leadership and co-worker relationships can each add to the inherent difficulties staff face when caring for acutely ill older people. Staff seek to alleviate the impact of such difficulties by finding personal satisfaction from caring for ‘the poppets’; those patients they enjoy caring for and for whom they feel able to ‘make a difference’. Other patients – noting dehumanising aspects of their care – felt like ‘parcels’. Patients are aware of being seen by staff as ‘difficult’ or ‘demanding’ and seek to manage their relationships with nursing staff accordingly.

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