Obstructions and professional development: Experiences in a medical ward

Introduction: The nursing staff in a medical ward experiences lack of possibilities for professional development. It might have serious consequences for the patients if the staff does not adequately develop their profession. Aim: To investigate the understanding and the meaning of professional development among the nursing staff. Method: A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach with field observations, ethnographic interviews and a focus group interview. The empirical data is analyzed and interpreted with Ricœur’s philosophy of metaphors. Findings: Professional development is described in five metaphors: take to one’s heels, have a foot in both camps, grit, stand on one’s own two feet, find one’s feet. Conclusion: Professional development is experienced through intercollegial learning and together with the patient. However, time pressure, tecnification of care, restructuring of the health system and dismantling of care are obstructions to professional development. The professional judgement is devalued and the direction for the nursing care disappears.

Keywords: intercollegial learning, medical patients, professional development, professional judgement, tecnification, time pressure