The Meaning of Caring From the Lived Experiences of Filipino Nurse Informaticists

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Romeo Luis A. Macabasag, MAN
Michael Joseph S. Diño, PhD, MAN, BSN, RN
Research Development and Innovation Center, Our Lady of Fatima University, Valenzuela City, Philippines


Caring is considered as the central tenet of the nursing profession (Watson, 2004) although nurses share varied view of caring, based on their specialization (Ray, 1989). The phenomenon of caring was already explored among nurses in the fields of oncology (Poirier & Sossong, 2010), critical care (Wilkin & Slevin, 2004; Wilkin, 2003), mental health (Chiovitti, 2008), geriatrics (Gustafsson, Asp, & Fagerberg, 2009), nursing education (Braj, 1994), and general nursing (Andersson, Willman, Sjöström-Strand, & Borglin, 2015; Patistea, 1999). But there are still areas that need further investigation, particularly on the meaning of caring among nurse informaticists (NIs).


To desccribe the use of hermeneutic phenomenology, using Van Manen's Phenomenology of Practice, and to explore the phenomenon of caring among Flipino NIs.


To explore the phenomenon of caring – and thus to define caring – from the lived experiences of NIs, we employed Van Manen’s (2007) context-sensitive form of hermeneutic inquiry called the “Phenomenology of Practice”. In Phenomenology of Practice, we assumed a reflective attitude over pre-reflective experiences. Van Manen (1990) harmonized the philosophical, human science (empirical), and philological methods in Phenomenology of Practice to uncover the depths of experiences. Experiential materials from the seven key informants were analyzed through layers of descriptive and reflective methods, namely: (a) thematic, (b) linguistic, (c) existential, and (d) exegetical reflection. The ethical soundness of this inquiry was ascertained by an institutional ethics review committee accredited by the Philippines Health Research Ethics Board

Results and Discussion

This phenomenological inquiry yielded the following themes around which the text has been composed: (a) caring actions, (b) caring modes, and (c) caring paths. The themes were treated as figures of meanings, which assisted us to further illuminate the varied forms of the lived meaning that may relate to the phenomenon of caring. Caring actions is described in the form of mentoring, supporting, and managing. Caring modes are reflected as intrapersonal, extrapersonal, and interpersonal modes of caring. Lastly, caring paths can be considered as primary and secondary caring paths. Holistically, the meaning of caring was also presented in the form of “informatics-driven nursing practice”. Like any other nursing specialty, we emphasized the innateness of caring among nurses practicing informatics. Existing literature suggests a need for a study that will uncover the meaning of caring among NIs from their lived experiences. The use of Van Manen Phenomenology of Practice is the most appropriate method of inquiry to illuminate the unexplored phenomenon of caring among NIs.