Learning Objective 1: ...examine the eidetic question "What is caring for a dying child?".
Learning Objective 2: ...compare the themes and essences uncovered using rigorous phenomenolgical method in the experiences of PICU nurses caring for dying children.
Methods: A phenomenological study was conducted with 10 participants using purposive sampling. Inclusion criteria included a minimum of 6 months experience and at least 2 experiences and exclusion criteria included nurses whose own child had died and other members of the team. The interviews were taped, transcribed, and analyzed in order to identify themes and essences of the experiences.
Results: The essences of the experiences were identified. 1). Alleviate; lighten the load, providing comfort in a soothing manner, 2). Tribute; honor and celebrate the memories, 3). Amid; being there with the patient and family, 4). Blessed; recognize the sacred and divine moment of a child’s passing, 5). Silence; peaceful stillness, 6). Sympathy; compassion in the midst of emotions, 7). Craft; unite the art and science of vocation, 8). Impact; recognize the experience has lasting effects and requires strength to endure.
Conclusion: The concept of transpersonal caring as outlined in Watson’s Theory of Human Caring was the theoretical foundation. Transpersonal caring depends on a commitment from the nurse to preserve human dignity, utilize actions and words to detect feelings, while being genuine and sincere.
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