Impact of Hospital Admission Care at a Pediatric Unit: A Qualitative Study
Marta Macías, Carmen Zornoza, Elena Rodriguez, José A. García, José A. Fernández, Rafaela Luque, and Rosa Collado
The time of admission to a hospital, especially when un planned, has been reported as the most stressful moment of hospitalization for both parents and children (Odievre, 2001). This qualitative study explored parents and hospital staff's perceptions and experiences related to the process of admission to a pediatric unit. Focus groups, two with parents (total n = 12) and one with health care professionals (n = 6), were conducted, and content analysis inspired by Graneheim and Lundman (2004) was performed. Parents identified four categories of perceptions: 1) management of an uncertain situation at the time of admission, 2) feelings related to the child's illness, 3) parent perception of professional's performance, and 4) parent experience of their role. Health care professionals identified two categories: 1) hospital admission as a continuous care process, and 2) undertaking improvements in the admission process. A common theme emerged about the importance of parents' trust in professionals in order to build a therapeutic relationship. Findings underscore the need for strategies to improve the hospital pediatric admission process based on a parent-professional relationship of trust and confidence through continuous quality communication and support. These strategies would include providing a nurse in charge of the admission process to assure continuity of care throughout the child's hospitalization.