Dignified care for children and young people: nurses’ perspectives
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Dignified care for children and young people: nurses’ perspectives

Lesley Baillie Principal lecturer, Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University
Pauline Ford Dignity campaign lead, Royal College of Nursing
Ann Gallagher Senior research fellow, Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, Kingston University
Paul Wainwright Professor of nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, Kingston University

Aim: To explore the perspectives of nurses working with children and young people on dignified care and the challenges of providing such care.

Methods: A questionnaire was developed including fixed response and free text questions. A survey link was emailed to RCN members. Of the 2,048 respondents, 149 worked mainly with children and young people. From their responses, quantitative data were analysed using a spreadsheet and free text data were analysed thematically according to the question topics.

Results: Only 34 per cent of respondents reported having enough time to devote to the dignity of patients and clients. Many respondents (74 per cent: sometimes; 8 per cent always) felt distressed or upset that they were unable to give the kind of dignified care they aspired to. The physical care environment and organisation influenced the provision of dignified care but respondents described how they endeavoured to promote dignity during care activities through thoughtful planning, communication and preserving privacy.

Conclusion: Nurses can do much to promote the dignity of children and young people in their care.

Nursing Children and Young People. 21, 2, 24-28. doi: 10.7748/paed2009.03.21.2.24.c6915

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