“Did I do the right thing?” Nurses' experiences of caring for victims of child maltreatment: A qualitative study

Journal of Pediatric Nursing(2024)

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Purpose The purpose of this study is to explore and gain insight into pediatric nurses' lived experiences in caring for children who experienced maltreatment. Design and method A qualitative descriptive phenomenological approach using Giorgi's method was used to support the inquiry of this study. Participants were recruited through the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) and the International Association of Forensic Nursing (IAFN). To collect data, the research team conducted semi-structured interviews individually with each participant online via online video conferencing. Results A total of 21 nurses participated in the study. In the final analysis of data, six meaning units are found: (1) helplessly watching children relive the traumatizing events, (2) lack of knowledge and training on caring for children who experienced maltreatment, (3) adversarial relationship and resentment towards parents, (4) conflicting emotions and feelings, (5) long-lasting effects of trauma, and (6) feelings of isolation and loneliness. Conclusions Pediatric and forensic nurses' experiences of caring for children who experienced maltreatment were highlighted by the fact that they lacked the knowledge of caring for these children and felt isolated. Practice implications Implementing simulation training on nurses' knowledge and confidence in caring for children who experienced maltreatment is a paramount of importance. This in turn may improve nurses' sense of belonging and enhance the quality of care victims receive.
Nurses,Lived experiences,Child,Maltreatment
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