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How do children’s nurses working in hospices manage emotional labour and professional integrity in long-term relationships with parents?

Brimble, Mandy ORCID: 2022. How do children’s nurses working in hospices manage emotional labour and professional integrity in long-term relationships with parents? Presented at: Royal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cathays Park, Cardiff., 5-6 September 2022.

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Background: Children with complex life-limiting conditions are living longer, so relationships between nurses and families can sometimes span decades. Although long term relationships between nurses and children/families in paediatric palliative care have been researched, studies undertaken exclusively in children's hospices are rare. Therefore, the influence of this unique environment on nurse/parent relationships is unexplored. Aims: Develop an in-depth understanding of how children's nurses manage long term relationships with parents in the children's hospice setting. Develop an in-depth understanding of how children's hospice nurses maintain professional integrity whilst providing long term practical, emotional, social and spiritual care to parents. Explore the coping strategies used by children's nurses to manage emotional labour whilst working in the children's hospice setting. Methods: Data collected via audio diaries recorded on mobile phones and explored further in telephone interviews. Participants completed audio diaries after an episode of caring for a child and family, whom they had known for at least 3 years. Data was securely transmitted to the researcher via 'Whatsapp'. Each participant was asked to complete 2 recordings over a 1-3 month period. Telephone interviews were conducted as soon as possible after transcription of the audio diary. A purposive sample of six registered children's nurses, employed at hospices for 4 years minimum were recruited. They must have previously worked in another paediatric clinical environment for a minimum of one year. Participants were asked to tell the story of a shift spent delivering day or short-break care. Individual analysis: Across the six participants a total of nine stories were told. Each narrative was analysed using Braun and Clarke's (2006) framework. At the individual level 20 themes were identified in total, a number of which had similar underpinning meanings or a common approach to a specific aspect of the nurse-parent relationship, e.g. types of empathy (cognitive, compassionate and emotional), emotion management/self-regulation, counterbalances to emotional labour (self-styled methods or features integral to the hospice). These individual themes reflect components of emotional intelligence and the continuum of professional behaviour including boundaries, particularly concentrated efforts to remain within the therapeutic zone rather than becoming overly or underly involved either on an emotional or behaviour level. Whole group analysis: Three main themes and associated sub themes were identified as follows: • Purposeful positioning Creating a psychological space between myself and work Managed empathy and self-regulation • Coping with and counterbalancing emotional labour Job satisfaction Positivity and having fun Extraordinary peer support • Balancing personability with professionalism I am a friendly professional, I am not their friend Managed self-disclosure The framework for discussion of the themes is Emotional Intelligence theory.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 15:05

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