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Nurses’ moral experience of administering PRN anti-seizure medications in pediatric palliative care

Journal title
The Canadian journal of nursing research = Revue canadienne de recherche en sciences infirmieres
Publication year
Rashotte, J.; King, J.; Thomas, M.; Cragg, B.

This article explores nurses’ decision-making related to the administration of PRN anti-seizure medications to children with long-term seizure disorders in palliative care. Hermeneutic phenomenological inquiry guided by van Manen’s approach was the method used. Six nurses participated in interviews. Data analysis revealed that not on my watch was the overarching theme in which nurses engaged in bearing witness, being attentive, creating connectedness, and finding the right thing to do. Four themes emerged: being in the know–what to know and ways of knowing; marking time–waiting and timekeeping; seeking a sense of personal comfort–developing a sense of comfort, experiencing distress, and responding to distress; and making the decision–recognizing a seizure, identifying options, weighing the options, and rethinking the decision. This study reveals the moral dilemmas and resulting moral distress that may be experienced in making this type of decision and advances our thinking about the corresponding tensions and rewards.

Research abstracts