An investigation into the feasibility of parental participation in the nursing care of their children


  • Margaret A. Evans RGN RSCN DipN BSc(Hons)

    1. Macmillan Lecturer in Cancer Nursing, Department of Nursing Studies, University of Southampton, Level C West Wing, The General Hospital, Southampton SO9 4XY, England
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Family-centred care has been recognized as a basic tenet of paediatric nursing for some time because it is believed that children benefit from the continuous presence of their parents It is for this reason that the concept of care by parents has evolved Although such a philosophy is beneficial for the child, it has undoubtedly evolved due to low staffing levels, and in such an environment the guidelines for safe practice are easily called into question In the wake of a new paediatric oncology ward, it was decided to consider instituting care by parents In an effort to do this in a structured way, it was decided to make our practice research based A teaching tool was formulated and five mothers who presented consecutively to the paediatric oncology ward were taught how to administer intravenous antibiotics to their child Mothers' views on the teaching programme were sought using taped interviews, and the data were analysed using grounded theory This methodology allowed a theoretical framework based on realistic data to emerge, and the resultant themes provided a valuable insight into Mothers' views on the subject It emerged that nurses' attitudes towards care by parents require clarifying and that changes need to take place if this concept is to be taken on board Negotiation to allow mutual understanding between parents and nurses is essential to the successful implementation of such a scheme