Background: Nurses have difficulties in caring for patients with obesity (PWO) due to their large size and complex care needs. As there have been few studies on these challenges, it is necessary to identify them for PWO through access to nurses’ experiences.
Objectives: This study aimed to explain the nurses’ experiences of the challenges of caring for admitted PWO.
Methods: This qualitative study was performed on 12 nurses working in two large urban teaching hospitals in Iran. They were selected using the purposive sampling method. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews during 2018-2020. Content analysis and MAXQDA software (version 10) were used to analyze data.
Results: According to the results, "threat to the patient safety" was the main theme extracted from nurses’ experiences, which included three categories, namely "from care difficulty to inaccurate care", "exacerbation of clinical complications", and "limited self-care". The category of "from care difficulty to inaccurate care" consisted of the subcategories of "care difficulty" and "inevitability of performing inaccurate care". The category of "exacerbation of clinical complication" was composed of the subcategories of "domino-like deterioration of the clinical condition", "multiple physical problems", "patient injury", and "death". The category of "limited self-care" included the subcategories of "patient difficulties with personal hygiene", "limited ability to move/change position", and "inability to meet defecation needs".
Conclusion: According to nurses, "threat to patient safety" was the main challenge of caring for PWO. Patients with obesity could receive competent care from nurses who have a thorough awareness of the obesity threat to patient safety.
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