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Dealing with parents´existential issues in neonatal intensive care

Journal article
Authors Helena Wigert
Kristina Bry
Published in Journal of Neonatal Nursing
Volume 24
Issue 4
Pages 213-217
ISSN 1355-1841
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 213-217
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnn.2017....
Keywords Content analysisParentsStaff experiences
Subject categories Nursing

Abstract

Staff at neonatal intensive care units (NICU) are often confronted with existential questions brought up by the parents of sick newborns. This study explores how hospital staff approach parents' existential issues. Thirty-two interviews with physicians, nurses, counsellors, psychologists and priests at four NICUs were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Physicians and nurses found it difficult to deal with the existential issues of parents. Some considered that it was not their job and referred parents to a counsellor or psychologist. However, counsellors and psychologists noted that many parents would rather speak to a physician or a nurse whom they were already familiar with. Several of the priests felt that their job included providing support for the staff as much as for the parents. To adequately encounter parents' existential issues, physicians and nurses need training and guidelines concerning cooperation between the different professions.

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