Hospitalized Children – Parents' and Nurses' Collaboration in Procedural Situations
Background: When children are hospitalized, collaboration between parents and nurses is initiated. This qualitative study explored parents' and nurses' experiences of collaboration, and the sharing of responsibility and tasks in the care of hospitalized children regarding procedural and treatment situations.
Hildegunn Sundal and Else Lykkeslet
Methods: A hermeneutic, phenomenological approach was used, which included field study and interviews. Participants included 11 children hospitalized in a general medical pediatric unit with their parents (3 fathers and 9 mothers) and the 17 nurses (all female) who cared for them. The children were between 1 and 6 years old (3 boys and 8 girls), and had various medical diagnoses.
Findings: Parents and nurses collaborated and shared responsibilities and tasks in caring for the children in procedural and treatment situations by building relationships with the children, motivating and distracting the children, and causing discomfort and comforting the children. In this way, while carrying out procedures and treating the children, nurses and parents alternated responsibilities and tasks. Caring in these situations was characterized by a dynamic and flexible collaboration for the children’s best interests.
Conclusions: This study reveals the dynamics of collaboration and a sharing of responsibility and tasks between parents and nurses. This study highlights that nurses must be aware of parents’ contributions and competence in terms of collaboration in both procedural and treatment situations.