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An exploration of nurses' emotions: a study of Jordanian nurses in intensive therapy.

Almahrouk, Mohammed


Mohammed Almahrouk


John Gass

Raghra Shukri

Manny Richie


Emotions within the Intensive Therapy Nurses (ITNs) are the phenomena under investigation. Emotions of ITN s are exposed to stressors that may lead to emotional changes. This study aimed to explore the emotional changes experienced by Jordanian ITN s. Multiple triangulation was employed in three interrelated phases. Each phase is a pre-requisite for the next. All phases complete each other to form the whole study. The first phase used observations and interviews to collect data from three ITNs working in three different Intensive Therapy Units (ITUs), the adult intensive therapy, the paediatric intensive therapy and the post-cardiac surgery units. The first phase revealed the range of emotions experienced by ITN s. The second phase involved a construction of self-reporting questionnaire based on the first phase findings. The aim of the questionnaire phase was to identify the nurses' highly meaningful emotions within the ITU s. A total of 73 ITN s responded from three different hospitals. The second phase revealed 50 out of 172 emotional items as highly meaningful emotions. The highly meaningful emotions were categorised into five emotional groups: mutual professional, disparagement, self-worth and physical emotions. The situations (in which the emotions were revealed) of the second phase were categorised into five themes: technology, advanced nursing procedures, nurse-patient relationship, nurse-human relationship, and working conditions. It was necessary to conduct a third phase in order to allow in-depth understanding of the phenomenon of emotional changes within ITN s. The third phase employed interviews with nine participants using an interview guide. The third phase analysis showed that the emotional groups had different patterns of emotional transformations. Mutual disparagement emotions showed an increase in emotionality followed by a decrease until they reached a balanced stage. Professional and self-worth emotions were increasing over time for ITNs. The study proposed a model of expertism within ITN s. Expertism according to the current study is a process of emotional transformations. Knowledge, experience and culture training would help ITNs to transform their emotions to reach a level of expertism. Culture and gender differences may also influence ITNs' emotional transformations. ITNs become balanced in their mutuality and disparagement, and having high professionality and self-worth. These expert ITNs would attain advanced nursing qualities such as: being organised, autonomous, critical thinker, and educators. Emotional transformation is a process that could be taught to ITNs. Nurse educators could use the model to develop courses and programmes which could foster the emotional transformations within ITN s in order to reach the expertism. Such courses and programmes are expected to reduce turnover and burnout among ITN s and foster nursing professionalism.


ALMAHROUK, M. 2009. An exploration of nurses' emotions: a study of Jordanian nurses in intensive therapy. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jul 14, 2011
Publicly Available Date Jul 14, 2011
Public URL
Award Date May 31, 2009


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