Developing Nurse/Parent Relationships in the NICU Through Negotiated Partnership

Authors

  • Misty D. Reis,

    1. NP, MN, is a nurse practitioner, Neonatal and Infant Follow-up Clinic, Stollery Children's Hospital/Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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  • Gwen R. Rempel,

    1. RN, PhD, is an assistant professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and population health investigator, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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  • Shannon D. Scott,

    1. RN, PhD, is an assistant professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and a population health investigator, Alberta Innovates—Health Solutions, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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  • Barbara A. Brady-Fryer,

    1. RN, PhD, is a faculty instructor at Grant MacEwan University and former Patient Care Director, Critical Care & Cardiology, Stollery Children's Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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  • John Van Aerde

    1. MA, MD, PhD, FAAP, FRCPC, is a clinical professor of pediatrics, University of Alberta and the former regional director for neonatal medicine, Stollery Children's Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
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  • The authors report no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.

Correspondence
Gwen R. Rempel, RN, PhD, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, 3rd Floor Clinical Sciences Building, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
gwen.rempel@ualberta.ca

ABSTRACT

Objective: To explore parents' experience and satisfaction with care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Design: Qualitative design using an interpretive description method.

Setting: A tertiary-level care 69-bed NICU.

Participants: Ten parents (nine mothers and one father) were interviewed.

Method: Parents were interviewed in person or via telephone, either following or close to discharge. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and then analyzed using an evolving coding guide.

Results: All parents indicated that the relationship they developed with the bedside nurse was the most significant factor affecting their satisfaction with their NICU experience. All parents described nursing actions of perceptive engagement, cautious guidance, and subtle presence, which facilitated the development of this relationship. Further analysis of the data revealed that parents portrayed nurses in ideal nurse/parent interactions as fulfilling the roles of teacher, guardian, and facilitator.

Conclusion: Developing a collaborative and effective nurse/parent relationship is the most significant factor affecting parents' satisfaction with their NICU experience. Providing nursing care in a manner that optimizes consistency and continuity of care facilitates the ability of both parties to develop this relationship.

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