Mutual suffering: A nurse's story of caring for the living as they are dying

Authors

  • Iain W Graham RN PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Joint Head of School and Professor of Nursing Development, Institute of Health and Community Studies, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, Dorset, United Kingdom
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  • Tanya Andrewes RGN BSc(Hons) PostGradDip,

    1. Senior Lecturer, Learning and Teaching, Institute of Health and Community Studies, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, Dorset, United Kingdom
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  • Lisa Clark RGN BSc(Hons)

    1. Ward Sister,  West Dorset Hospitals NHS Trust, Dorset, United Kingdom
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Iain W. Graham, Royal London House, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth BH1 3LT, Dorset, United Kingdom. Email: igraham@bournemouth.ac.uk

Abstract

The aim of this study was to uncover the meaning of the lived experience of mutual suffering in relation to the care of a dying patient. The study took place within an acute medical ward in a district general hospital on the south coast of England as part of a reflective practice development programme. Parse's human becoming theory provided a framework for the study and Parse's research methodology was adopted. Understanding the nature of human relationships within nursing practice is central to nursing work, enabling patients and their health-professional carers to live and work healthily in the context of human becoming. Illuminating mutual suffering through reflection enables nursing and health-care professionals to acknowledge the paradoxes of practice and, thus, create new strategies for the provision of care and the improvement of practice, so that quality of life is maximized for the patient and for themselves.

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