The Experience of Compassion in School-Age Siblings of Children with a Severe Traumatic Injury
Mary Jo Bugel
Although many school-age siblings have a brother or sister who experienced an acute and unforeseen traumatic injury resulting in devastating and long-ranging effects, little research has focused on understanding the well-sibling experience. The phenomenon of what it is like to be a school-age sibling living through this family crisis as it starts to unfold has essentially been unstudied. This study used themethod of phenomenology to uncover principle themes inherent in the experience of well school-age siblings. Four main themes and three overarching metathemes emerged; however, the most prevalent and strongest theme uncovered was that of compassion. Findings describing compassion are illustrated through spoken words of siblings enmeshed in the experience. Feelings, thoughts, and ideas of these well school-age siblings were used to develop clinical recommendations, which are proposed to nurses and other health professionals who practice with siblings and families of children who have faced a traumatic injury.