The aim of the study was to get a better insight into perioperative nursesÕ experience in a value conflict that has arisen in the perioperative caring environment and how they deal with it. In order to obtain as full and objective picture as possible the critical incident technique was chosen.
Perioperative nurses were asked to write down stories about value conflicts which they have experienced in the perioperative caring environment. When interpreting the textual content of the stories the aim has been to understand the meaning of nurses experiences and how the nurses act in a value conflict situation.
A value conflict is something that nurses have become part of against their own will. They are prevented from giving the good care they want to give, they are in conflict with themselves and have a bad conscience, and they feel guilt and shame for not having prevented the value conflict.
The nurse who is involved in a value conflict aims, for the sake of the patient, to be a professional caring nurse. The nurse chooses to be the patientÕs neighbour, the one who suffers along with the patient and represents the patientÕs cry for help.