caring relationships, narrativism, nursing practice, palliative care



  1. Hjelm, Eva RN, MScN
  2. Hartwig, Kerstin RN, MScN
  3. Bertero, Carina RNT, BSc, MScN, PhD


The purpose of this article is to explore the meaning of palliative care in the context of the caring relationship described by nurses providing such care in the home. Eleven nurses were interviewed, and the transcripts were analyzed using the hermeneutic narrativism method. The study found that the nurses'' narrative account of a caring relationship can be represented by a metaphor: an inevitable journey by train, characterized by the three themes of transit points, time, and guidance. Each journey passes through the same four points in chronological order. Time always moves forward, but the duration of the journey can be either long or short. Having more time creates better conditions for developing a caring relationship. The nurse provides guidance through a journey that she has made before, although each journey is unique. A caring relationship signifies commitment and involvement.