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New kid on the block? Community nurses' experiences of caring for sick children at home

Authors Ewa-Lena Bratt
Charlotta Willén
Sarah Samuelsson
Published in American Academy of Nursing 2014 Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference held from October 16 - 18 2014. Washington, USA
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Language en
Subject categories Health Sciences


Aim: To investigate the experiences of community nurses regarding caring for sick children at home, since this is a growing population of patients in community care, and most community nurses do not have an extensive experience in caring for sick children. Methods: Using a qualitative, descriptive design, in-depth interviews were conducted with twelve nurses working in community healthcare in Sweden. Qualitative content analysis was used. Results: “To feel confident in order to create confidence” was key in nurses’ experiences. Two main themes emerged: ”to build a trusting relationship with the family" and "to feel confident in the role as caregivers". Nurses aimed at creating a trusting nursing relationship and working closely with parents. The feeling of confidence in their role as caregivers depended of the support that nurses received and the knowledge that they have. Six subthemes emerged: “the importance of adequate knowledge”; “to handle the emotional reactions”; “need for support and guidance”; “collaborating with family”; “thoroughly planned visits”; and “communicating with the whole family”. Conclusion: Many community nurses felt insecure to care for children at home. However, they experienced this as manageable when receiving peer support and when there is a distinct collaboration with the pediatric clinic/hospital. A need for guidance and education was expressed. Policy implications: The ongoing shift from hospital to home urges pediatric clinics/hospitals and community healthcare to develop formal policies of transmural collaboration to train and support home nurses for delivering adequate care to sick children and their families at home, and safeguard good outcomes.

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