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Religions 2016, 7(12), 148; doi:10.3390/rel7120148

Prayer and Religion—Irish Nurses Caring for an Intellectually Disabled Child Who Has Died

1
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
2
St. Michael’s House, Adare Green, Coolock, Dublin 5, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Fiona Timmins and Wilfred McSherry
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 December 2016 / Published: 15 December 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [171 KB, uploaded 23 December 2016]

Abstract

This research paper was presented at the Second International Spirituality in Healthcare Conference 2016—Nurturing the Spirit held at Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin. 23rd June 2016. Historically, nursing has had a sound “spiritual” grounding. However, some contemporary health literature is questioning spirituality’s relevance, and practitioners often shy away from it. This article aims to highlight the findings of a study which, in exploring the nurse’s personal grief relating to caring for a child with an intellectual disability who has died, identified the practice and value of spirituality in nursing practice. A qualitative descriptive research approach was employed. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with eight female nurses who had cared for a child with an intellectual disability who has died. Data was analyzed using Newell and Burnard’s pragmatic approach to qualitative data. Ethical Approval was granted by University of Dublin, Trinity College and the relevant healthcare provider. Eight broad themes emerged from the study. “Prayer and Religion” was a sub-theme of “Focusing on the positive”, which is the main focus of this article, and discussed in depth for the first time. Spirituality and religion plays a key role in the daily lives of many nurses, who further embrace this aspect of their lives when managing dying, death and bereavement. It became evident that spirituality was not merely a reactive strategy, but one underpinning a participant’s core nursing values. Nurse Managers and colleagues should continue to acknowledge, respect and support staff’s spirituality. View Full-Text
Keywords: grief; nursing; children; intellectual disabilities; support; spirituality; religion; faith; qualitative research; semi-structured interviews grief; nursing; children; intellectual disabilities; support; spirituality; religion; faith; qualitative research; semi-structured interviews
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Keenan, P.M.; MacDermott, C. Prayer and Religion—Irish Nurses Caring for an Intellectually Disabled Child Who Has Died. Religions 2016, 7, 148.

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