BACKGROUND: Treating patients with courtesy and respect has quality, ethical, and fiscal ramifications.
PURPOSE: This qualitative study revealed meanings of nurse courtesy and respect as imbedded in nurse and patient stories.
METHODS: Audio-recorded interviews were collected from 15 registered nurses and 17 patients on a medical-surgical unit in a 377-bed, nonprofit, Magnet-recognized facility.
RESULTS: Six themes related to courtesy and respect emerged during descriptive content analysis by 2 researchers: (1) being attentive (with subthemes taking time, physical care, and proactive engagement); (2) giving empathetic support; (3) honoring culture and beliefs; (4) recognizing the family; (5) recognizing patient space; and (6) recognizing personhood (with subthemes of showing ordinary politeness and recognizing the individual and honoring choices).
CONCLUSIONS: Informants' stories contributed toward a better understanding of what it means to treat patients with courtesy and respect; and they created context for interpreting HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) numerical results. Further research is warranted.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sherri-mendelson/22/