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Hospitals without walls: A journey through the health-care system

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The paper describes aspects of a journey through the health-care system following a domestic accident. The journey commenced in the accident and emergency department and, over a 3 month period, traversed the operating theatre, intensive care and an orthopaedic ward before moving into a Hospital in the Home programme and community health and district nursing services. The paper explores the experiences of the accident victim, a 56-year-old man, and his wife who is an experienced nurse and university lecturer. The paper supports the ‘seamless delivery’ concept of integrated care while, at the same time, sounding notes of caution. The principal messages in this paper are about the relationships that nurses build with patients and their families over long periods of care, the paradoxical sense of ‘outsideness’ that can occur when the home becomes medicalized and the importance of the home as a healing environment.

Keywords: healing environment; hospital in the home programs; illness experience; medicalisation; nurse–patient relationship

Document Type: Clinical Report


Affiliations: 1: Professor, School of Nursing, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia 2: Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2000


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