Nurses' experiences of managing vulnerability when working with seriously ill children

Title

Nurses' experiences of managing vulnerability when working with seriously ill children

Creator

Nugent A; Donohue G; Higgins A

Publisher

Nursing Children and Young People

Date

2022

Subject

clinical; grief; professional issues; child health; end of life care; professional; attitudes to death; nurses’ wellbeing

Description

BACKGROUND: Nurses who work with very unwell or dying children may experience intense sorrow and distress in response to loss, which can take an emotional toll on them, potentially affecting care provision. AIM: This study aimed to explore the experiences of children's nurses who work with seriously ill children and to gain an insight into the dynamics involved in working with children and their families, as well as the nurses' experiences of managing their own vulnerability. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with five children's nurse participants, and data were analysed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. FINDINGS: Three thematic categories were identified - 'being emotionally full', 'navigating the rules of grief' and 'prism of time'. Caring for seriously ill and dying children is a unique type of nursing and is often regarded as contrary to the 'natural' process of life. Findings were dominated by unresolved grief and the mechanisms used to cope with this emotional pain. CONCLUSION: Nurse educators must be aware of the strategies that people use to avoid engaging with painful emotional experiences. Without this understanding and self-awareness, children's nurses can be caught in a cycle of unresolved grief that affects their own health and could affect their ability to engage with children and families in an empathetic and supportive way.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

March 2022 List

Collection

Citation

Nugent A; Donohue G; Higgins A, “Nurses' experiences of managing vulnerability when working with seriously ill children,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed April 19, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17839.