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Quality in pediatric nursing care: children’s expectations

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Pelander, T.; Leino-Kilpi, H.

Children’s perceptions of pediatric nursing care have not been systematically taken into account in the development of the quality of care. Usually, parents have evaluated children’s care and its quality. The purpose of this study was to examine children’s expectations concerning the quality of pediatric nursing care by interviewing 20 preschool and 20 school-aged children in Finland. Twenty of them had insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and visited the hospital on a regular basis, and 20 were treated on a surgical ward for a short period. Using content analysis, the interviews were coded and categories and subcategories identified. The children’s expectations concerning the quality of nursing care were related to the nurse, nursing activities, and environment. They expected the nurses to be humane and reliable, have a good sense of humor, and wear colorful clothes at work. Both the nurses and the parents were expected to take part in nursing activities. The children expected from nurses, in particular, entertainment, educational, caring, and safety activities, while parents were expected to relieve fears and longing and to provide company. The children also emphasized the role of other children as part of good care. The results demonstrate that children are capable of offering valuable insights into the quality of pediatric nursing care. The results open new avenues for strengthening children’s perspectives on pediatric nursing.

Research abstracts