Nurses Constructing and Reconstructing Interpersonal Relationships and Their Relevance to Wellbeing in Bulgarian Hospitals


  • I. Todorova
  • Y. Panayotova
  • A. Alexandrova-Karamanova


Background: Healthcare reform in Bulgaria has been on-going for two decades. We are conducting an international EC Framework 7 project: “ORCAB: Improving quality and safety in the hospitalâ€. We focus on nurses’ perceptions of interpersonal and inter-professional relationships which they connect to experiences of occupational stress and quality of care. Methods: We conductedeight focus groups (21 nurses) in three hospitals. Data were analysed through thematic and discourse analysis. Findings: Themes identified from the perspective of nurses: Intensification of traditional hierarchical relationships and the creation of new ones through health reform; Being voiceless in interactions and thus in organizational issues; Negotiating the place and boundaries of the nursing profession in contrast with others; Cohesion within the profession - constructing nurses as a supportive team, minimizing differences among themselves. Interpersonal and interprofessional relationships are continuously (re)constructed though language and practices and also redefined through agency and resistance. Discussion: Discussion will address implication of nurses’ experiences of interpersonal relationships for wellbeing and for quality of care.