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Lived experiences of adult community nurses delivering palliative care to children and young people in rural areas

Journal title
International journal of palliative nursing
Publication year
Reid, F. C.

The anticipated death of a child or young person is a relatively rare occurrence in the Western world. Many families receive support from children’s health-care services until the late stages of palliation, with adult community nurses being involved in just an occasional end-of-life care episode in the home during their entire career. This creates challenges in nurses’ experiential reflection, development of knowledge and skills, and building of nurse-family relationships. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 adult community nurses from a rural part of Scotland to explore their experiences of providing palliative care to children. The material was analysed using a qualitative phenomenological thematic approach. Four key themes emerged: emotional preparedness, navigating the professional ‘road’, becoming part of the family, and it’s everybody’s business. Significant issues were highlighted in relation to nurses’ coping, with implications for practice. Recommendations are made for further research into rural contextual dilemmas.

Research abstracts