With every fibre of their being': Perspectives of healthcare professionals caring for children with non-malignant life-limiting conditions

Title

With every fibre of their being': Perspectives of healthcare professionals caring for children with non-malignant life-limiting conditions

Creator

Kiernan G; Hurley F; Price J

Identifier

Publisher

Child: Care, Health and Development

Date

2021

Subject

children; palliative care; life-limiting conditions; children with medical complexity; multidisciplinary

Description

BACKGROUND: Children with non-malignant life-limiting conditions (NMLLCs) constitute the largest proportion of children requiring palliative care. In part, due to technological advances, growing numbers of such children are experiencing improved survival. Care is mostly provided at home by the family, with significant professional input at different points in the child's life trajectory. This study explored the experience of healthcare professionals caring for this cohort of children. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study design using single-occasion one-to-one semi-structured interviews collected data from 12 healthcare professionals' including nurses, social workers and doctors. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: The findings highlighted the unfailing determination and dedication of healthcare professionals who provided care despite challenges with what seemed like 'with every fibre of their being'. Three key themes marked such strength and commitment; those were 'being there', 'being focused' and 'being strong'. 'Being there' explicitly highlighted expert care that was individualized and responsive to the child and family's unique needs. The provision of such care was often threatened and potentially compromised by the intricacies and challenges associated with children's palliative care (CPC) and service provision. 'Being focused' captured the sense that the healthcare professionals remained entirely focused on providing expert care despite these challenges. 'Being strong' epitomized the personal and professional impact on healthcare professionals who are working in this area and the manner in which they sustain themselves in 'being focused' and in 'being there'. CONCLUSIONS: The healthcare professionals demonstrated their unwavering commitment to deliver quality care required by children and families, however against a background of issues relating to organizational constraints. The findings have implications for education/service providers such as the need for specific palliative care education at both pre-registration level and continuing professional development.

Rights

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Citation List Month

January 2022 List

Collection

Citation

Kiernan G; Hurley F; Price J, “With every fibre of their being': Perspectives of healthcare professionals caring for children with non-malignant life-limiting conditions,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 21, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17775.