Current Content
Volume 43 - Number 1
January/February 2017

The Lived Experiences of Nurses Caring For Dying Pediatric Patients
Danna L. Curcio

Nurses and healthcare professionals may have difficulty adjusting to and comprehending their experiences when a patientís life ends. This has the potential to interfere with patient care. Reflection on past events and actions enables critical discovery of strategies to benefit both nurses and patients. This qualitative phenomenological study explores the lived experiences of nurses caring for dying pediatric patients. The philosophical underpinning of Merleau-Ponty (2008), in combination with the research method of van Manen (1990), was used for this study. The Roy Adaptation Model (RAM) (Roy, 2009; Roy & Andrews, 1991) was the nursing model that guided the study to help understand that nurses are an adaptive system, using censoring as a compensatory adaptive process to help function for a purposeful cause. Nine female nurse participants with one to four years of experience were interviewed. The context of the experiences told by nurses caring for dying pediatric patents uncovered seven essential themes of empathy, feelings of ambivalence, inevitability, inspiration, relationship, self-preservation, and sorrow, and these themes demonstrated a connection formed between the nurse and the patient.