Lived experiences of pediatric oncology nurses in Iran

Fariba Borhani, Abbas Abbaszadeh, Mohaddeseh Mohsenpour, Neda Asadi


Background: Caring is a valuable task. The staff in any profession that involves patients’ fear, anxiety, pain, and suffering may experience similar feelings. As a professional group, oncology nurses deal with patients and their relatives and caregivers under very stressful conditions. They encounter pain, suffering, and death as a part of their daily life. A number of studies have evaluated the experiences of pediatric oncology nurses in other countries. Therefore, conducting a survey about the experiences of Iranian nurses of caring for children with cancer can reveal their demands, stress, and limitations.

Materials and Methods: In a qualitative research, in-depth, unstructured individual interviews with open-ended questions were conducted to evaluate the experiences of pediatric oncology nurses in a hospital in a metropolitan city of Iran. The subjects all consented to participate and had at least one year of working experience in the ward. Content analysis was performed to analyze the data.

Results: The lived experiences of pediatric oncology nurses were categorized in five main themes. These themes included attachment, supportive care, trying to repress feelings, feeling of helplessness, and the need to be supported.

Conclusions: According to these results, nurses who provide care for children with cancer require support. This research also highlighted the roles, limitations, and needs of nurses in pediatric oncology wards.

Key words: Iran, lived experiences, pediatric oncology nursing qualitative research

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