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Keywords:

  • attitude to death;
  • cultural values;
  • end of life care;
  • migrants;
  • participatory research

Nurses experience the care of a dying child and their family as a challenging but distressing event. In a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), Melbourne, Australia, nurses expressed a concern that they may not be providing the most appropriate care when a cultural disparity exists between nurses and families experiencing the death of their child. A critically informed study was undertaken with six PICU nurses to explore their experiences of caring for a culturally and linguistically diverse family whose child had died. Three consecutive focus group interviews were conducted with the nurses to identify issues in this area of their nursing practice and to contemplate how their practice might be changed. The focus of this paper is on one particular finding of the study about the nurses' use of controlling practices to ensure families conformed to the established routines and values of the PICU staff.