Back to Journals » Psychology Research and Behavior Management » Volume 9

The perception of intuition in clinical practice by Iranian critical care nurses: a phenomenological study

Authors Hassani P, Abdi A, Jalali R, Salari N

Received 21 November 2015

Accepted for publication 7 January 2016

Published 8 March 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 31—39


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Parkhide Hassani,1 Alireza Abdi,1 Rostam Jalali,2 Nader Salari3

1Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 2Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran; 3Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

Background: Intuition as a way of learning in nursing is applied to decision making and judgment in complicated clinical situations. Several studies have been conducted on intuition in clinical settings, but comprehension of this concept is unclear. Moreover, there is a lack of information about intuition in critical care nurses caring for more seriously ill patients. This study aimed to explore Iranian critical care nurses’ understanding of intuition in clinical practice.
Methods: In a descriptive–phenomenological study, 12 nurses employed in critical care units of the hospitals affiliated to Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences were purposively recruited to the study. A semistructured interview was administered, and then written verbatim. The data were managed by MAXQDA 10 software, and qualitative analysis was undertaken using the seven-stage approach of Colaizzi.
Results: Of the 12 nurses who participated in the study, 7 (58.3%) were female and married, and 10 (88.3%) held a bachelor's degree in nursing. The mean and standard deviations of participants' age, job experience, and critical care experience were 36.66±7.01, 13.75±6.82, and 7.66±3.36 years, respectively. Four main themes and eleven sub-themes were elicited from the qualitative analysis; the main themes including “Understanding intuition as a feeling”, “Understanding intuition as a thought”, “Understanding intuition as receiving signs”, and “Understanding intuition as an alarm”. Because they have trust in their own intuition, the nurses made further assessments and paid more attention to patients. They were also better prepared after receiving intuition alarms to perform the appropriate responses, and acting upon the alarms reduced the nurses’ physical and psychological signs.
Conclusion: The findings showed how intuition was understood by the critical care nurses; therefore, these results can be considered to form a theoretical basis for designing other studies. Because of the significant role of intuition in enhancing the nursing care of critically ill patients, it is suggested that more qualitative, quantitative, and trials studies be performed to reinforce intuition in nursing; moreover, to incorporate intuition into nursing curriculums, it should be debated in academic settings.

intuition, nurses, critical care, qualitative research

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]