The authors report no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.
Experiences of Obstetric Nurses Who Are Present for a Perinatal Loss
Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2013
© 2013 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 42, Issue 3, pages 321–331, May/June 2013
How to Cite
Puia, D. M., Lewis, L. and Beck, C. T. (2013), Experiences of Obstetric Nurses Who Are Present for a Perinatal Loss. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 42: 321–331. doi: 10.1111/1552-6909.12040
- Issue online: 17 MAY 2013
- Version of Record online: 17 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: FEB 2013
- fetal death;
- infant death;
- obstetric nurses;
- perinatal loss;
- secondary analysis
To discover the impact of perinatal loss on obstetric nurses.
In the parent study, obstetric nurses were provided with an open-ended statement asking them to describe in writing the experience of being present during a traumatic childbirth. For this study, a secondary qualitative analysis was performed on those cases in which a perinatal loss was described as traumatic to answer new research questions.
A total of 464 cases were included in the parent study; 150 cases included either fetal or infant death. Of those, 91 cases had rich descriptions that we analyzed for this study.
The data were analyzed using Krippendorff's (2013) method for qualitative content analysis. Responses were clustered to allow themes to emerge. Nurses’ experiences of fetal and infant loss were analyzed individually and then compared and contrasted for overarching themes.
Six themes emerged from the fetal and infant loss experiences, with the final overarching themes from perinatal loss including getting through the shift, symptoms of pain and loss, frustrations with inadequate care, showing genuine care, recovering from traumatic experience, and never forgetting.
Perinatal loss can have a lasting effect on nurses, and thus continued support may be needed.