This is a phenomenological research whose goal was to understand the internment experiences in an adult infirmary of a general hospital, in order to bring elements for a discussion about the psychological point of view of taking care of these people. The interviews were accomplished from an active, non-directive, modality and written under narrative form. The results indicate that: (1) hospitalization must be understood as a process; (2) the psychological condition of the participants interfered in their physical condition; (3) the objective facts were not as important for the internment subjective quality as the meaning of their experience; (4) some relationships established by the participants, during the internment, contained reciprocity and others did not have this element; and (5) care related to the hospital rules and routines was differently viewed by each participant. There are few studies that take into consideration the hospitalization experience like a process and also the internment subjective quality.
hospitalization; care; approach centered in the person; phenomenology