19th EAWOP Congress, Turin, Italy, 29 May - 01 June 2019, pp.3
A Qualitative Study on the Experiences of Nurses Employed in Pediatric Oncology Departments: Stress, and Burnout
Pediatric Oncology Departments are substantially stressful places for the nurses to be employed as they take care of the children diagnosed with cancer and deal with their mournful parents. To understand their experiences we conducted a qualitative study on 12 pediatric oncology nurses working with children with leukemia through semi-structured in-depth interviews in İstanbul, Turkey. These interviews were tape-recorded and deciphered and analyzed by using a thematic-analysis approach. Three main and three subthemes were attained. The first theme of the interviews were related with the difficulties of working as a pediatric oncology nurse with subthemes like psychological difficulties working with children with cancer, working conditions, and problems with patients’ parents. These themes showed that the nurses somehow attached with the children and experienced the fear of losing them as there is a risk of death. For working conditions they emphasized the work-load, working hours, working with shifts, dealing with chemotherapeutic drugs and difficulties of providing the drugs on time. They mentioned that most of the families with pain showed their anger and insurrection to them as they are the closest service providers. For the second main theme most of the nurses had chosen the profession with economic concerns, and it revealed that they had shared similar socio-economic backgrounds as students. The third theme was about the person-job fit showing that these nurses had common traits such as tolerance, patience, calmness, and responsibility. The interviews revealed that these nurses work in stressful conditions and experience burnout symptoms and sometimes they can be traumatized with the death of children.
Key Words: Pediatric Oncology Nurses, Experiences, Work-Load, Stress and Burnout