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54th World Congress on Nursing and Health Care

Tokyo, Japan

Helena Wigert

Helena Wigert

Gothenburg University, Sweden

Title: Familycentered neonatal care- the neonatal nurse´s responsibility for the child and parents’ existential issues in neonatal intensive care


Biography: Helena Wigert


Staff at Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are often confronted with existential questions brought up by the parents to sick newborns and this study explores how staff approach parents' existential issues. Thirty-two interviews with physicians, nurses, counsellors, psychologists and priests at four NICUs were analysed of a qualitative content analysis. Physicians and nurses found it difficult to deal with the existential issues of parents. Some considered that it was not their job and referred parents to a counsellor or psychologist. However, counsellors and psychologists noted that many parents would rather speak to a physician or a nurse whom they were already familiar with. Several of the priests felt that their job included providing support for the staff as much as for the parents. To adequately encounter parents´ existential issues, physicians and nurses need training and guidelines concerning cooperation between the different professions.