UBC Theses and Dissertations
Nurses' perspectives of parental participation in the care of preterm infants in a special care nursery Foster, Norma
Nurses in neonatal special care nurseries with a philosophy of family centered care involve parents in the care of preterm infants. There is little research describing nurses' perspectives of parental participation in care. Using interview data obtained from one secondary level neonatal special care nursery, this study attempts to understand the meaning parental participation in care has for neonatal nurses and the way that meaning is expressed in various nursing activities. Twelve nurses were interviewed about their reaction to parental participation in various activities such as feeding and bathing their babies. These nurses are all full time staff members in the nursery. Findings of the research are that there are two main nursing perspectives of parental participation in the care of preterm infants in a special care nursery. These two perspectives are labelled the 'our baby' and 'their baby' perspective. The 'our baby' group of subjects maintain a traditional role of control of care. The 'their baby' group are committed to the philosophy of family centered care within certain boundaries. An example of the difference., in the two perspectives was discovered in the area of infant feeding. The 'our baby' nurses thought that parents engaged in this activity increased the workload while the 'their baby' nurses thought that parents decreased workload. The 'our baby' nurses treated most parents in a similar way but the 'their baby' nurses individualized their approach to parents. The 'their baby' nurses' enjoyed spending time with parents but the other group said that there were less parents to deal with when they were working at night. Both groups work side by side with little conflict. Implications for the selection and training of nurses are noted as well as implications for further research.
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