Termination of pregnancy services: experiences of gynaecological nurses


J. Nicholson: e-mail: jackie.nicholson@sheffield.ac.uk


nicholson j., slade p. & fletcher j. (2010) Termination of pregnancy services: experiences of gynaecological nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(10), 2245–2256.


Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to identify the experience of gynaecological nurses involved with termination of pregnancy.

Background.  Staff involved with termination of pregnancy have been found to experience both positive and negative views. Varying processes and experiences for staff have been identified, from termination of pregnancy work being emotionally draining and stressful to there being a process of care that evolves with greater experience.

Methods.  A purposive sample of seven gynaecological nurses currently working in a termination of pregnancy service was recruited. Data were collected between October 2007 and January 2008 using interviews and standardized questionnaires. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis.

Results.  Eight superordinate themes emerged from the analysis: (1) Unconditional acceptance and understanding of termination of pregnancy, (2) Strategies for managing the demands and challenges, (3) What we do for patients and job satisfaction, (4) Challenges to unconditional acceptance, (5) Juggling the contrasting needs and demands of patients, (6) The most demanding aspects of the role, (7) The significance of personal experience and (8) The service context. Some of the experiences were interpreted as ways in which nurses justified their role. The themes were understood in terms of a balance between strains, coping and contextual influences.

Conclusion.  Providing a recognized supportive supervisory environment might allow for the acknowledgement of the unique challenges staff in termination of pregnancy services face, and might enhance a sense of validation within the organization and hence staff wellbeing.