The Lived Experience of Work-Related Loss and Grief Among Pediatric Oncology Nurses

Teresa M. Conte, PhD, CPNP


Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. 2014;16(1):40-46. 

In This Article

Strengths and Limitations of the Study

The strengths of this study were the study design and the inclusion of pediatric oncology nurses who have been largely overlooked in prior research studies investigating work-related loss. Qualitative design gave these nurses the opportunity to openly reflect and tell their stories. Although this study had a small sample size, rich descriptive data were able to be gathered on the phenomena of loss and grief as it was experienced by 11 pediatric oncology nurses.

There were limitations to this study. The investigator was an experienced, practicing pediatric oncology nurse at the time this study was conducted. The participants had knowledge of this fact and would speak using terminology familiar to those who practice in pediatric oncology. When speaking of practice situations or emotions connected to practice, the nurses would often say, "You know what I mean." The investigator did not ask the participants to clarify their statements so that laypersons could have a more concrete explanation terms and statements. Eight of the 11 participants self-scheduled their interviews while they were working. Those who conducted their interviews during their shifts had active patient coverage by other staff nurses on the unit. To assist the participants in being fully focused on the interviews, they were conducted in a private office removed from the unit. Participants gave the covering nurse their pager so that neither patient care nor the interviews would be interrupted. It is unknown if the participants who were interviewed during their shifts were able to fully focus on the interview while their patient care responsibilities were being covered by other staff.