AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to explore municipal healthcare employees' experiences of relationships with care recipients and colleagues. The specific research questions were when do the relationships enhance well-being, and what prerequisites are needed for such relationships to occur?.
BACKGROUND: Employees in health and social care for older people often depict their work in negative terms, and they often take a high number of sick leaves. Despite the heavy workload, other employees express well-being at work and highlight social relationships as one reason for this. However, a greater understanding of how these relationships can act as resources for workplace well-being is needed.
DESIGN: The design of the study was qualitative and exploratory.
METHODS: Qualitative interview studies were conducted with twenty-three healthcare employees in municipal healthcare. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.
RESULTS: Two themes were identified as resources for promoting relationships between employees and care recipients or colleagues: (i) Being personal - a close interpersonal relationship to a care recipient - and (ii) Colleague belongingness - a sense of togetherness within the working group. Spending quality time together, providing long-term care and providing additional care were antecedents for a close interpersonal relationship with care recipients. Trust, mutual responsibility and cooperation were antecedents for a sense of togetherness within the working group.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings provide an empirical base to raise awareness of relationships with care recipients and colleagues as health aspects. Relationships among employees in healthcare are vital resources that must be considered to create sustainable workplaces, and consequently improve the quality of care. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology (30302)
- employee well-being
- municipal healthcare
- qualitative method
- workplace health promotion